Since the dawn of the web, no other filetype has been more controversial than the humble GIF. Not for its features, mind you — the GIF is a beloved file across the internet. No, what makes the GIF so controversial is how it’s pronounced. “Giff” or “Jiff?”
After the filetype’s original developer chimed in saying he leaned toward the “Jiff” pronunciation, “hard G” fans all over the world were left sullen, while many claimed the “Jiff” pronunciation makes no sense due to GIF’s full name: Graphics Interchange Format.
But a new contender has stepped onto the scene to settle the debate once and for all. Who better than Jif, the peanut butter brand, to weigh in on the correct pronunciation of the contentious filetype? Best of all, it’s doing it with a special edition jar of its tasty product.
Jif vs. GIF: The ultimate showdown
As part of an aggressive new advertising campaign, the peanut butter extraordinaires at Jif have released a special edition jar of peanut butter in honor of the well-loved GIF filetype. But in doing so, the brand has taken a side in the ongoing war over GIF’s pronunciation. Here’s what Jif had to say on the matter:
And there you have it, folks. The verdict is in: Jif says GIF has a hard “G.” The company released a special edition jar of peanut butter to cement its decision so if anyone has any doubts about the pronunciation, they can look to Jif’s packaging, where they’ll find a bright gold label reading, “HARD g PRONUNCIATION.”
Way to make a statement, Jif.
Needless to say, the special jars were popular. So much, in fact, that they sold out in under 5 minutes.
People sure feel passionate about their filetypes, huh?
Why did Jif make this call?
It’s anyone’s guess, but here’s our theory: As part of the campaign, Jif has partnered with GIPHY, a GIF resource website popular on social media. Thanks to the partnership, you can download Jif-themed GIFs to use on your profile and in messages to your friends. Tap or click here to read more about GIPHY.
Now, try and read that sentence again. How is anyone supposed to pronounce “Jif-themed GIFs”? Jif-themed “jiffs” sounds redundant and can confuse people into thinking you’re talking about literal jars of peanut butter.
Jif-themed “Giffs” removes any ambiguity whatsoever, and shows whoever you’re talking to that you mean “peanut butter-themed animated images.” Much better!
In any case, this is the opinion of one company. The debate is unlikely to end here, but at least the “Giff” side of the fight has some powerful ammunition from here on out.
And frankly, the peanut butter isn’t bad either.