Two linguistic errors arising from unawareness of technology have become commonplace:
- the mispronunciation of GIF, despite the term’s intended homage to a homonymous peanut butter
- the indiscriminate misreference to any short, silent, looping video as a GIF despite its likely encoding otherwise
In concession to the natural drift of language, I propose a bifurcation of terms such that these apparent errors resolve each other:
- GIF /dʒɪf/ (like gin), an acronym, strictly refers to Graphics Interchange Format, a now-obsolete image encoding scheme
- gif /ɡɪf/ (like gift), an ordinary word, denotes any short, silent, looping video
The pedants can keep their GIFs, and the kids can keep their gifs.