GIF: Hard G or Soft? Let's Talk It Out

Okay, really: Is it GIF as in "gift" or GIF as in "jiffy"? There have been many guides addressing this question -- and even, via Jon Oram, an attempt at detente. And yet we seem no closer to consensus. There's the hard-g camp and the soft-g ... and they don't seem to be coming together anytime soon.

Part of the challenge is that even the most definitive guides when it comes to pronunciation aren't, actually, fully definitive. Because, even when they're insistent one way or the other -- and they're almost always not insistent -- there will still be a whole swath of Internet-dwellers pronouncing the thing the other way. This is the "sherbert" vs. "sherbet" -- the "orange" vs. "aw-range," the "potato" vs. "potahto" -- of contemporary Internet culture. It is sort of sad. But it is also sort of weird. Why is this tiny little word so divisive?

Here are introductory thoughts on that question from Grist's Philip Bump; you can read the rest of a conversation on the subject -- featuring a GIF from The Atlantic's own Chris Heller -- over at Branch.com:

branch_embed.png
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In