Jif and Giphy Just Came Up With the Best Gif Meme

How do you say "Gif?"

Why This Matters

It really doesn't "matter," in the scheme of things, but to see a peanut butter company and an animated images company (with a name based on the format, GIF) come together to gently make fun of the soft-G pronunciation of GIF is pretty darn fun. Who doesn't need a little fun these days?

Gif peanut butter jars from Amazon listing
Jif / Giphy / Amazon

There's a bit of a history to understand before you can fully appreciate the image above. The file type, GIF, stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It's a compression algorithm that has been popularly used for animated images on the internet.

If you've ever called a Gif a 'Jif,' we forgive you.

What's the big deal: Pronouncing the three letters has become a bit of an internet sensation, however, as most people use a hard-G sound, as in Graphics, Gurgle, or Grass. Steve Wilhite, the guy that came up with the format, however, famously told the New York Times that it should be pronounced with a soft-G, as in Giraffe, Giant, or Geography.

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

The response: The internet has gone wild over this in the years since, with folks famous and not (Jimmy Fallon, anyone?) weighing in. Our own Editor In Chief, Lance Ulanoff, created a poll on Twitter to see how people pronounce the "word." Both polls overwhelmingly fall in favor of the hard-G.

Where things stand right now: Now peanut butter maker Jif and animated images database Giphy have put together a fun little image that pokes fun at the whole thing. "If you've ever called a Gif a "Jif," the (presumably fake) jar says, "We forgive you."

The bottom line: Does this really matter? Probably not. But the image took the internet by storm, re-igniting the "Gif or Jif" psuedo-controversy. That in itself is indeed a ton of fun.

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