Jif, the popular American peanut butter company, launched a new campaign last week with the popular site GIPHY to settle the GIF pronunciation debate once and for all and in doing so, claims they "finally put a lid on the #jifvsgif debate." Available with several fun messages printed about, a limited 40-oz. jar labeled "Jif" on one side and "Gif" on the other is also now available from Amazon while supplies last.
Asking, "When is it okay to call a GIF a Jif," Jif's microsite responds: "Never. Jif is peanut butter. GIFs are looping animations" and provides a few fun examples of such GIFs:
Of course, the debate over how to pronounce "GIF" rages on, even after its creator, Steve Wilhite, said it is pronounced with a soft G — something many designers and photographers alike have simply chosen to ignore. Many argue the full term, "Graphics Interchange Format," should serve as proof the G is meant to be pronounced as a hard G, as in "Graphics." However, by this logic, we would all be calling JPEGs, "J-FEGs" (Joint Photographic Experts Group). But many of us (myself included) still maintain the hard G makes the most sense. And for some inexplicable reason, saying it this way is less offensive. It just has a better mouthfeel.
With the lid of its limited-edition peanut butter jar now available on Amazon, Jif is ready to forgive (or perhaps to help you forgive) those who have slipped to the dark side with the message: "If you've ever called a GIF a 'Jif,' we forgive you."