Is it GIF, as in gift? Or is it GIF, as in gerrymandered? That is the question.
President Barack Obama declared in a video released by the White House Thursday that he has long pondered the question of how to pronounce the Internet’s most debated word — and he’s come to a decision.
In a meeting this week, Tumblr Founder and CEO David Karp asked Obama, “Did you see the GIF?” pronouncing it “jif” with the soft G. Technically speaking, this is the proper pronunciation, so decreed by Steve Wilhite, who created the GIF—short for Graphics Interchange Format—in 1987.
“A GIF,” Obama replies, with the hard g as in gloat. “I’m all on top of it.”
“So you’ve made up your mind, it’s a GIF?” Karp asks.
“It is. That is my official position. I’ve—I’ve pondered it a long time,” Obama declares.
Many in the media were quick to report on Obama’s mispronunciation of the term. But, as a proponent of the living language and non-stick-in-the-mudness in general, this writer, controversially among his colleagues, is fine with the President’s position.
More Must-Read Stories From TIME
- How an Online Pharmacy Sold Millions Worth Of Dubious COVID-19 Drugs — While Patients Paid the Price
- Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs
- Meet the Women Participating in the Study That Could Change Future of Breast Cancer
- Inside the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Tomorrow's Business Leaders
- An Innovative Washington Law Aims to Get Foreign-Trained Doctors Back in Hospitals
- Why the Ex-Husband of a Missing Chinese Billionaire Is Risking All to Tell Their Story
- Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve