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

More

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
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


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

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In