How to correctly pronounce the word “GIF” has been the subject of a fierce debate for years — and it's only intensified as more and more GIFs are created.
Now, one of the country's most popular peanut butter brands is wading into the discussion with a new jar of its signature spread.
Just in time for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1, Jif will be selling rebranded jars of peanut butter. Instead of just "Jif," the jars will read, "Jif, soft g pronunciation" on one side, and "Gif, hard g pronunciation" on the other.
The limited-edition jars are more expensive than the average container of peanut butter, with each 40-ounce jar retailing for $10 on Amazon (the same size usually costs about $5). The company wouldn't say exactly how many jars would be released but confirmed they'd only be available "while supplies last."
“We’re teaming up with Giphy to put a lid on this decade-long debate and prove there is only one Jif," Jif's vice president of marketing, Rebecca Scheidler, said in a release. "It’s creamy, delicious peanut butter, not a looping picture you can send to make friends and family laugh."
The peanut butter brand partnered with Giphy, a website that crowdsources GIFs and makes it easy to share them across different social media platforms, to reignite the pronunciation debate — which is nearly as old as the file format itself.
Former Compuserve engineer and GIF creator Steve Wilhite told the New York Times that it should be pronounced "jiff" with a "soft g" sound, and he's been saying it that way ever since he created the file format in 1987.
However, the Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations.
“They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story," Wilhite told the Times seven years ago.
At the time, Jif's official Twitter account was all about Wilhite’s comments supporting Jif and GIF being pronounced the same way.