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#1 2011-02-26 23:09:45

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2131

gift << gif

A boatload of bits have been bootlessly banged about over the question of whether the first consonant of “GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) file” is pronounced with a hard or a soft “g.” The answer, says Steve Olsen, is soft “g.” Providing, of course, we accept the premise that coiners have the final say on the pronunciation of their own acronyms.

Mac users, Olsen points out, tend to employ a hard “g” sound at the inception of “GIF.” Although this custom abrogates the priority of the inventor and violates the general rules of English pronunciation (soft g before the vowels “e,” “i,” and “y”), Mac users might be forgiven this affectation. In one list of the 500 most common words in English, the compilers include only five words in which “gi” and “ge” occur at the beginning of syllables, and all five of these words – “girl,” “give,” “begin,” “together,” “get” – contradict what English teachers pass along as the standard rule. The fact that these five words are all of Teutonic origin is a reminder that English grammar and usage rules are based on and biased toward Latin and Romance language standards.

Anyway, the point of this: those who put a hard “g” on “GIF” occasionally turn it into “gift file:”

Programming instructions on a Chinese site: “Construct an animated gift file showing the double generation of the deltoid. ”

Blog post: “Concluding the section of animation, we learnt how to make it follow in a sequence, by using the animated gift file.”

Instructions for constructing a graphic: “The graphic can not be saved as a PICT or GIFT file, but it can be printed. ”

Last edited by kem (2011-02-26 23:11:02)

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#2 2011-02-27 01:58:47

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 943

Re: gift << gif

Beware of Picts bearing gifts. I’m a hard g guy, based on the widely advertised (at the time) origin of the suffix in graphics.

If you think of it as a gift file, do you then worry about it carrying trojans?

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#3 2013-02-14 18:01:59

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2131

Re: gift << gif

An update to last year’s post about gifs and gifts. I did not mention it at the time, but gif also has a verbal form. The Oxford American Dictionaries organizaation, in fact, has voted the verb as the word of the year.

Having a verb form of gif is just a step away from the pun “the gif that keeps on gifing.” You can find it at a number of sites, such as this one.

You have to wonder whether the trend to moving gif images on the web has been influenced by a Harry Potter meme. The Daily Prophet has animated photographs.

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