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Iffy on the pronunciation of GIF? Jif peanut butter is here to help

Jif and GIF Peanut Butter
Jif

Well, lock me in a zoo and call me a GIF-raffe. The makers of Jif, everyone’s favorite peanut butter, have teamed up with the makers of Giphy, everyone’s favorite Slack function, to release a gif-themed peanut butter jar. Yes, this is real.

“If you’ve ever called a .GIF a Jif, we forgive you,” the makers of both products said in a press release.

For those for whom this might be their first day on the internet, GIFs are short, looping videos or animations that are often used to punctuate sentences with emotion, or sometimes even stand in for a sentence itself, when one needs an eye-roll to speak a thousand words.

But, because this is the digital age and no one actually speaks to each other out loud anymore, there has long been debate over how the word “GIF” is pronounced: Correctly (GIF, with a hard G) or incorrectly (jif, with a soft G). GIF itself comes from the acronym Graphical Interchange Format — note the hard G on “graphical.”

To add to the confusion, Jif has now created a limited run of the jars (just in time for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day), which will cost $10 and say “GIF” in big letters on them. Because that totally clears everything up.

“We’re teaming up with GIPHY to put a lid on this decade-long debate and prove there is only one Jif. It’s creamy, delicious peanut butter, not a looping picture you can send to make friends and family laugh,” said Rebecca Scheidler, vice president of Marketing of Jif in the press release. “So spread the word like Jif on bread — Jif is peanut butter, GIFs are animations!”

“If you’re a soft G, please visit Jif.com. If you’re a hard G, thank you, we know you’re right,” said Alex Chung, founder and CEO of GIPHY in the release, validating the true heroes of the internet who have long pronounced the word the correct way.

(In other news, did you know that there was a National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day? Well, there is and it’s on March 1. The-more-you-know-dot-GIF!)

Given the internet’s ongoing trench warfare over the pronunciation of “GIF” — even the inventor of GIFs, Steve Wilhite, weighed in several years ago and incorrectly told the internet that it was pronounced “jif” (we all valiantly decided to ignore Mr. Wilhite and forgive him his trespasses) — this is unlikely to change anyone’s mind.

Much like those who use the Oxford comma, those of us who pronounce GIF correctly will not be deterred, dissuaded, or discouraged in spreading our just cause. And now we have not one, but two brands backing us!

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Maya Shwayder
I'm a multimedia journalist currently based in New England. I previously worked for DW News/Deutsche Welle as an anchor and…
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