Twitter was in uproar last night after the creator of the Gif looped image type said the word should be pronounced ‘jif’.
Users reacted furiously after the intervention from Steve Wilwhite, who created the graphics interchange format in 1987.
The American’s claim came in an interview with the New York Times as he prepared to be presented with a lifetime achievement accolade at the Webby Awards.
‘The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,’ he said. ‘They are wrong. It is a soft G, pronounced “jif”. End of story.’
That was far from the end of the story, however, with people taking to Twitter in droves to register their shock, anger and confusion.
Ringleader and Times columnist Caitlin Moran wrote: ‘Twitter quite [obdurate] you will prise our “Gif” out of our cold dead three-second clip-looped hands.’
Alistair Coleman added: ‘[Creator] of the Gif says it’s pronounced “jif”. Why didn’t he say so earlier, the gerk?’
The use of Gifs has remained popular despite the advent of high-speed broadband connections, with Yahoo marking its $1.1billion (£726million) acquisition of Tumblr with one of the looped images, while Gif was even named word of the year in 2012.
David-Michael Davies, director of the Webby Awards, commented: ‘It’s been an incredibly enduring piece of technology. Even as bandwidth has expanded, it has been very exciting to see how much cultural cachet the format has gotten.’