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)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In