I think I'm going to puke a Tumblr's worth of emotions because GIF has been named the Oxford American Dictionary's 2012 word of the year. ZOMG!
BetaBeat reports that GIF beat out such worthy competitors as "YOLO," "Higgs boson," and "Super PAC" to take this year's crown. In a statement, Oxford told Beta Beat:
The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.
But true to its stodgy identity, the dictionary's definition is still boooooooring:
Pronunciation: /jif, gif/
Computing (trademark in the UK) a lossless format for compressing image files.
Obviously, this is an incomplete definition that doesn't include any of that widely expanding "lexical identity." Oxford doesn't even take a stand on whether it's pronounced JIF or GIF. Technically, either is correct.
But that's just wrong. It can't be both. Come on, Oxford, you're supposed to be an authority! You know what, it doesn't matter what the dictionary says. According to my brain—and the Gizmodo style guide—it's pronounced with a hard G.
As in, get that jif out of my face, or you're going to make me feel like this: