27 February 2020

27 February 2020


 27 February 12020 is Independence Day in the Dominican Republic. It’s also Ellen Terry’s birthday. I see in the news that the leader of the team that developed the Graphics Interchange Format wants everybody to pronounce the acronym GIF with a soft g (as in gin, ginger, or gibberish) rather than a hard g (as in gift, give, girl, gill, gigawatt, gingko, gig, etc.). I don’t know under what circumstances I would want to pronounce GIF, but assuming that I did, I would definitely pronounce it with a hard g—both because that’s the natural English pronunciation, and because the g in question stands for “graphics”—which is not pronounced “jrafix.” Giff is hard to confuse with any other English word, whereas Jiff sounds like a brand of peanut butter, or like the word jiffy. If he wanted it pronounced with a j sound he should have spelled it “JIF”. The acronym could then stand for Jraphics Interchange Format—something that makes a lot more sense than pronouncing GIF jiff.

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