Graphic Image File format. A widely supported image-storage format released in 1987 and promoted by CompuServe. It gained early widespread use on on-line services and the Internet. An excellent format for graphics used on the World Wide Web (WWW), and there are animated GIFs too. (JPEG is better for photographs.)The pronunciation of GIF is controversial. Bob Berry, who (claims to have) coined this term says people should say jiff (as in gin), but many users prefer to say giff (as in gift). The "G" is derived from "Graphic" (and not from "Jraphic"), which would seem to justify pronouncing GIF with a similarly hard-G. Note too that 61% of American English words beginning with "gi-" are pronounced with a hard-G sound. ArtLex prefers to describe what speakers are saying rather than prescribe what is "correct." Which pronunciation do you hear more? Email ArtLex.Also see PICT (Macintosh Picture), GraphicConverter, pixel shim, and TIFF (Tagged Image/Interchange File Format).

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