Steve Wilhite, Inventor Of The GIF, Tries To Put An End To The Great Pronunciation Debate, But Fails

Senior Writer
05.21.13 103 Comments

Steve Wilhite (pictured above in the monitor of a fan) will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at tonight’s Webby Awards, as his creation of the GIF has made him a god among mere mortals obsessed with animated images on endless loops. Otherwise known as the Graphics Interchange Format, the GIF has become a handy dandy tool for us bloggers in conveying simple messages by using familiar faces and pop culture memes and moments.

Alas, all is not well in the world on the GIF on this evening of Wilhite’s greatest recognition. At least I think it’s his greatest recognition, because, like many, I had never heard of him before today. Either way, the GIFmaker himself has ignited a furor of Twitter controversy by finally putting an end to the great pronunciation debate. Is it pronounced “GIF” or “JIFF”? Be prepared to look like this.

He is proud of the GIF, but remains annoyed that there is still any debate over the pronunciation of the format.

“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.” (Via the NY Times)

Oh yeah? Well, as a proud member of Team Hard G (both in terms of GIF and my rap star name), I feel that I can only properly convey my disappointment in Mr. Wilhite’s iron hammer of justice with this collection of GIFs.

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