Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

In the "new lingo", GIF means a short animated image loop. See, for example, /r/gifs or Twitter's "Add a GIF" feature. A "GIF" can be in .mp4 format, for instance, so there's little connection (other than historical) with the actual GIF image protocol.

Maybe we should distinguish these two meanings (1980's image file format and any short looping video) by pronouncing them differently. I suggest we use the correct pronunciation for the former, and the infamous wrong pronunciation for the latter.

Let's be part of the solution instead of the problem.

It's only a problem if you're a tech pedant.

I'm not a pedant. To me, the word "pedantry" describes the colour of the sky. Get used to it.

To me it describes excessive concern with minor details and rules.

but thats none of my business tho

I think the problem is "what words actually mean" has become a minor detail to some people.

My high school English teacher would not have accepted "language evolves" as an excuse for things like confusing "then" and "than" and not knowing the meaning of the word "literally".

Using literally to mean figuratively is just fine. They're being ironic, or hyperbolic. Then and than mean different things. To a lay person, a gif is a short, looping, soundless video. I'm not sure what is being lost by not distinguishing between this and a short mp4 file with no sound on loop.

Your high school English teacher was wrong. Words mean whatever people think they mean, much like how money is worth whatever people think it's worth. Of course as an individual you can't unilaterally redefine a word, just as you can't declare that a $100 bill is worth as much as a car.

Until it's time to get a normal job.

At most jobs it's more important to communicate effectively than it is to know the historical definitions of words.

Of course, words don't have universal meanings. Lawyers and scientists use the word "theory" differently, for example. In any given environment, you should use words the way the people you need to communicate with expect them to be used.

And then there's the "what file extensions actually mean" problem.

Careful not to cut yourself on that edge.

What would you call a short looping video without sound? GIF works because it's what it evolved from, is still a widely used format, everyone knows the name, and we don't really have a better name for it.

But we could have literal wars over the pronunciation. I just don't want to leave a legacy of pain and violence for the children of the hard G.

yup I too am using the term just to denote a short animated image loop. It's much more efficient to store and send over an mp4 instead which is what I do

Why not call it an MP4 then? Due to MP3 it's recognized as much or more than gif.

doesn't have the same ring to it.. i made a camera that snaps an MP4 and print it.. GIF is more relatable and is becoming the generic lingo to denote this kind of medium

It's a video; a vid. A short video is a clip.

Wait; can't call it that because it loops by default.

Gif it is, then.

Vid is fine, looping is not the marquee feature.

Apple calls them live photos, I like it.

It's... sad.

A few months ago a friend was asking whether I know a service to convert a gif to a video. Which was also sad.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact