"Mr. Gick or Mr. Jick"

Language For those who still miss Balderdash and Piffle. What is the correct pronunciation of .gif?:
"It's embarrassing because you don't know if it's Mr. Gick or Mr. Jick," lamented William Labov, a linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. As Dr. Labov explained, in modern English, no hard and fast rule exists for the 'gi' combination. Some words take the hard sound, others take the soft sound -- it depends on the word's specific history. Compare gift and gin, for example -- same 'gi' combination, different 'gi' sound."
For me it's always been Mr. Gick without question. But I did meet someone who always prosaically spelt out these pronounceable file formats anyway. J-P-G, D-O-C and yes, G-I-F and to be fair to them it was at least consistent. R-S-S makes my jaw hurt.

No comments:

Post a comment