Gif vs. Jif: An Open Letter to Oxford Dictionary

Written by Abby Nieten on February 28, 2014

Posted in Formstack Updates

To whom it may concern:

As the definitive expert on colloquialism, jargon, and all-things-vocabulary, the team at Formstack is now relying on you to unite an office that has been divided for months (since May of 2013 to be exact). If this feud continues for much longer, our office culture and overall satisfaction with life could severely decline. Additionally, we are sure that other companies are gridlocked in a similar disagreement.

Exhibit A

You see, our employees are experiencing an altercation over the pronunciation of the acronym “gif.” As these images (see Exhibit A to your right as an example), are a vital part of our remote culture, we cannot avoid this disagreement without eliminating a key aspect of office communication. Both parties have a valid reason as to why their pronunciation is correct; the gif (hard “g”) proponents believe this articulation is true to the words that form the acronym – Graphics Interchange Format. However, the pro-jif employees pledge their allegiances to the creator of the format, Steve Wilhite, who pronounces it like the peanut butter.

Using our advanced online form builder, we quickly created a “gif vs. jif poll” to prove our office divide. Please see Exhibit B, a chart of our findings, below.


As you can see, the supporters of gif outnumber the pro-jif Formstackers 2-to-1. However, the supporters of the-j-sound are adamant about their pronunciation, and further disagreement might lead to alienation from the rest of the team and, possibly, harsher treatment during our daily ping pong bouts.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 1.02.01 PM

Exhibit C

According to your website, Oxford Dictionary has yet to state the official pronunciation of the word. Exhibit C, seen to your left, clearly lists both pronunciations as acceptable. We do realize that, when you click on the audio pronunciation, your vocalist is heard stating “gif,” but this is not enough for our pro-jif employees (something about wacky British phonetics – no offense).

As the experts who deemed such pop culture lingo as “selfie,” “twerk,” and “binge-watch” fit to be included in a college term-paper, we believe your definitive opinion on this hot topic is essential to solving this rivalry. If you would like to meet with our CEO directly to discuss this issue, we are happy to arrange something.

Thank you in advance of your time, and we hope to work together to resolve this divisive matter.

The Formstack Team

Want to join our official poll?
Are you as passionate about the gif vs. jif debate as we are? Take our poll too! Let’s find out where we really stand in this debate.

Take our Gif vs. Jif Poll!