Creator of the ‘GIF’ Tries to End Dumb Internet Debate

Twenty-five years ago, a man by the name of Steve Wilhite, a programmer at CompuServe, wanted to devise a way that companies could display color weather maps online. To accomplish this, he created something called the Graphics Interchange Format, or the GIF. The GIF, despite being around longer than most people who actively use it, has had a hell of a couple of years, inspiring blogs, being used as a legitimate (at least in some camps) storytelling device for media outlets and inspiring Moving the Still, an Art Basel show completely dedicated to the art of the GIF. 

Because of all of the sudden fame and fortune of the GIF, Wilhite was honored with that most prestigious of honors, a lifetime achievement award at the Webby Awards, an annual celebration of all things Internet. When asked about his honor and his creation by the NYT (ON IT!), Wilhite said he was still "annoyed" that there was a debate over the pronunciation:

“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite told the NYT. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
This news will be marginally important to designers, programmers and those on either side of the GIF debate, a few of whom took to Twitter yesterday to tell Wilhite they will still continue to use the hard-"g" pronunciation. But the creator has spoken, thus ending one of the most aggravating and ultimately pointless debates of the modern era. We will now express our feelings over all this madness, and in tribute to Wilhite and his creation, with a series of GIFs.