What does GIF mean?



When you look online for different types of files, you can see there are a huge variety of them. Even though many files are essentially the same, they also have significant differences.

For example, there are about 10 different types of text files that you can see on a daily basis. For pictures, there are moving and static pictures. One of these is the gif.

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format

friends gif

If you are looking online, you can find different picture formats. These are often shared on social media platforms.

On sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, gifs are increasingly popular! This is because gifs are moving pictures. They are almost like short, repeating videos that last around 3-10 seconds.

Their popularity on social media is due to their ability to express a single emotion much better than a still image.

Commonly, gifs are used as reactions to various things. There are many different apps that will allow you to choose from hundreds and even thousands of pre-made gifs.

They are extremely useful if you want to be able to send one to your friends to react to something! Gifs are sometimes also used to show that someone has actually said a quote from a video.

If you see a moving image of someone talking, and the text of their speech at the bottom of the picture, that verifies their words.

Gif Usage

Most of the time, gif is used as a noun. However, it is also recognized as a verb. You can use “to gif” to mean creating a gif yourself.

  • Did you see the gif of Taylor Swift that she posted on Instagram?
  • Can you show me how to gif something?
  • How long did it take for you to realize that this was a gif and not a regular still picture?

Controversy Over the Pronunciation of Gif

There are no set guidelines on how to pronounce English words, which is why pronunciation and stress are so difficult for English learners! One of the words that is caught in that controversy is gif.

The creators of this format of picture have claimed that the correct pronunciation should indeed be with a soft g, or a “j” sound.

This would mean that the word should be said “jif”. It brings to mind the name of the peanut butter brand, Jif. However, saying the name of these pictures with a hard g, like gift but without the last t, is also accepted.

Whether or not you agree with the founders, others will understand what you say either way!

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