Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
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, , 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. , 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:”
: “Construct an animated gift file showing the double generation of the deltoid. ”
: “Concluding the section of animation, we learnt how to make it follow in a sequence, by using the animated gift file.”
: “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)
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?
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 .
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 .
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.