GIF or JIF, it all does the same thing

The first thing I thought of when reading both “A Brief History of the Gif (so far)” and “Never Gonna GIF You Up” was the ever pressing debate, how do you pronounce GIF? From these articles I learned what the acronym stands for and it seems to me that since it stands for Graphics Interchange Format and since the G in graphics is hard, it should be pronounced GIF, like gift without the T. However, if you ask the creator of GIFs, Steve Wilhite, how to pronounce it, he will answer JIF as is shown in minute 2:55 of the following video.

Do I agree with this? No. Will I let this be the final verdict? No. Will I move on? Yes.

To me, the GIF has always been a fun tool and a word of passionate debate. As these articles showed, the history and meaning behind the GIF are so much more. I learned fromĀ “A Brief History of the Gif (so far)” that there were GIFs before GIFs, they just weren’t electronic. “Zoetropes” and “Mutosocopes” were not something I had ever heard of before, but their description was much the same as my perception of GIF today. However, “Never Gonna GIF You Up” corrected this perception by emphasizing how the usage of captions and text in today’s GIFs give them multiple meanings. With GIFs being such a prevalent part of today’s online culture, it is surprising to learn they fell out of fashion in the 90s for being less advanced than the newer technology. Nowadays, it is an important and popular way to share and explore visual media. During the Election, GIFs were used and shared by both parties. During the Olympics, GIFs were banned so that the Olympics Committee would have control over what could be released. GIFs may go in and out of fashion like clothing, but their potential seems to be endless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *