Worlds are shaking as the father of the Graphics Interchange Format, ye trusty old bitmap image standby for animated images on Cheezburger and Reddit and every where geeks wanna have fun, says it’s pronounced JIF, not GIF.
“It’s pronounced JIF, not GIF.” ~ Steve Wilhite, the father of GIFs. Well that’s settled. #Webbys
— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) May 22, 2013
Steve Wilhite invented the venerable image format in 1987 for CompuServe, the first commercial online service in the United States. It supports a not-very-staggering 8-bit color palette, although it can go higher, and uses a loss-less data compression algorithm to reduce file size without degrading quality.
And according to Wikipidia, the creator’s “intended pronunciation deliberately echoes the American peanut butter brand, Jif … although an “alternative pronunciation with a hard ‘G’ … is in widespread usage.”
Response has varied, but true believers on the side of right and justice and the American way — not to mention syntactical and elocutionary excellence — have bravely stepped up to the plate to correct this horrific wrong:
@bahjournalist i don’t want to hear these communist lies
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— Trevor Harmon (@maelstrommusics) May 22, 2013
@bahjournalist totally still disagree…even if he did make it. Graphic. Not jraphic. If I made apple and called it ahpple…no dice.
— Jarred Rowe (@JarredRowe) May 22, 2013
Unfortunately, the forces of evil are strong, and they have music on their side. Jonathan Mann, who has been making a “song of the day” for an astonishing 1,602 days, has made a song about the controversy which is mildly amusing, even if completely wrong-headed:
Take it back, Wilhite … or give back the award!