My girlfriend and I were discussing the various pronunciations of gif our friends utilize recently, and she mentioned something that I thought you might have thoughts on. She said (approximately) "I view (j)if as the file type, and (g)if as how it gets used nowadays." After a lot of thinking I've basically started to express her thought as "(J)if is the format, (g)if is the form." Essentially, a (j)if is the medium, while a (g)if is a specific utilization of that medium. Thoughts?
Your girlfriend and Andy Baio are in agreement!
I rather enjoy this idea, that the technological capability has one name and the artform has another. It makes explicit a thing which is easy to forget: there is a difference between media-as-technological-capability and the social practices of it’s use, both in making and seeing. It points out that those two things are not one in the same and don’t have to be. A JIF is not necessarily a GIF (though a GIF would always be a JIF).
As far as people actually adopting this in every day speech… HMMMMMMMM IDK part of me thinks the pronunciation of GIF has become politicized at this point. It’s like a badge of honor for so many people.
oh god John Green just accidentally proposed yet another alternative for the pronunciation of GIF.... Now which one do I say?
I feel pretty confident in declaring gyfe and žaif roughly isomorphic. I think fishingboatproceeds and I are in general agreement we need to find a good, upsetting middle ground. The rest is details.