cringeHow can this be?

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.

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.

shocked KramerAnd 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.”

Wilhite disappointed those who believe GIF is pronounced the one true and right way, with a hard G, when he accepted a lifetime achievement award yesterday at the Webbies.

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:

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!

Image credits: Shocked Kramer/GifBin, Baby cringing/Reaction GIFs

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