How do you pronounce "OGS"?

I pronounce the G like in GIF :roll_eyes:

And from now on it will simply be “ox” for me, easy peasy, language economy.


Well how do you pronounce GIF?


Way to open a can of worms!

The right way is with a soft g, like gift without the t.

The ‘technically correct’ way is jiff, because the creator obviously had some kind of mental problems.


I wasn’t asking how one should pronounce GIF, but how Trohde pronounces GIF.


Fair enough.

Wait, HOW???


Because the creator said so, and did so for making the pun “choosy developers choose GIF”, which parodies the well-known slogan of the peanut butter brand JIF (i.e., “choosy moms choose JIF” for those not familiar with old American advertisements).

Why do you say that?

Words that are spelled similarly do not necessarily have the same sound

  • rain, gain vs. again
  • good, hood vs. food, brood
  • cook, book, rook vs. spook, kook
  • head, lead (metal), read (past tense) vs. read (present tense), lead (as in leader)
  • put vs. but
  • boot vs. soot

There are a lot words where a “g” sounds like a “j”

  • gym, giant, giraffe
  • gentle, generous, general, germ
  • digit, rigid, margin
  • engine, imagine
  • magic, tragic
  • pudgy, stingy, energy
  • analogy, technology, biology
  • age, page, stage, cage
  • danger, emergency, apologize

How do you say the letter “G” (just by itself)?

Do you say “O-G-S” with a soft “G”?


Because GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Since Graphics has a soft G, GIF should too.
If GIF stood for Giraffe Interchange Format, I’d be ok with people saying JIFF.


Here are two counter-examples (to your implied rule that an acronym must adopt pronunciation from the component words):

  • GAN - Generative Adversarial Networks (G like in “gun”)
  • SONAR - SOund NAvigation Ranging (long O, despite the sound of “sound”)

I don’t contest that tons of people say “GIF” like “gift without the T”. That’s probably even the dominant pronunciation, and I see it as completely valid. I find the most compelling argument for its validity to simply be the fact that a ton of people say it that way. Linguistic “rules” arguments do not seem to be well-supported nor necessary.

However, I also think it is unreasonable to dismiss the original pronunciation as incorrect. It seems that the only consistent rule in English is that there are no other consistent rules. For any linguistic pattern, there are counter-examples, and despite any attempts to prescribe future usage based on past usage, people will use and take the language in whatever directions they please.


Isn’t that the hard form? Gift has a hard gee in it. Giraffe has a soft gee, AIUI.


I’ve not heard it said outloud, so my opinions on this one are less strong… but doesn’t JAN sound better than GAN in this case anyway? Maybe people should be saying JAN (if they aren’t already)

  1. Not a true acronym, since it’s not SNR.
  2. Since they didn’t make it SOUNAR, I’m ok with the word following the general rule of the a making the o say it’s name.

Agreed. And I prefer GIF, and the passionate stand against all subscribers to the usage of JIF :smiley:

Huh. There you go… I stand corrected. :slight_smile:


The reason a “g” is sometimes pronounced soft and sometimes hard can be mostly reduced to looking at the etymology of the word.

The soft variant (as in “giant” or “genre”) comes from words that are derived from some Roman language (French, Spanish, Italian, Latin). The soft variant only occurs when the “g” is followed by an “i”, “e” or “y”. Additionally the soft variant happens in words like “judge” where “g” is preceded by a “d”, even when the “e” gets lost in variants (judgment).

The hard variant (as in “get” or “great”) is used in almost all other cases, including words where “g” is followed by “i”, “e” or “y” that are from other origins, e.g. Germanic words.

Hence pronouncing GAN with a soft g is very irregular compared to other words. Pronouncing GIF with a soft g is equally irregular in that it is not a word originating from a Roman language.

If you need another acronym to get convinced, consider the “A” and “E” in LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiaton), the “U” in SCUBA.

The real question becomes what GNU should be pronounced as, being the acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix”…


I’ve heard GAN said many, many times, by many experts in the field (including the inventors and other pioneers in the topic). I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say GAN like “JAN”.

Here’s another acronym:


Interesting that both examples are cases of the general English “rule” of the second vowel making the first say its name being selected over the original pronunciation of the parent word.
Maybe it’s just a hierarchy or rules thing?

By all means, feel free to pronounce it Sa-re :slight_smile: don’t let me stop you :wink:

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My hypothesis is that the original pronunciation has absolutely nothing to do with the pronunciation of the acronym.


I’m not advocating for that. You are the one who suggested that linguistic rule for acronyms above. So, rather than stopping me, I would have imagined that you would have encouraged calling it something like “sare”.

I’m not actually advocating for any particular linguistic rules at all. My whole point is that the linguistic “rules” have so many exceptions that when it comes to neologisms and constructed phrases (like acronyms), one should not feel too beholden to any perceived historical biases.

I want to say that it should sound like however the name of the animal is pronounced, but then again I’m not really confident about how to say the name of the animal either. I end up just calling “gah-new”, which is probably wrong, but I’ve heard some others say that and it makes it clear that I’m not just saying “new”.

However, take what I say with a grain of salt, since I’m just the weirdo that calls this website “ogues”.


Just because two causes may both align with my principles, doesn’t mean I need to advocate for them equally :slight_smile:

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That was great :heart:


Man I might have to make a version of that with Gandalf’s F word scene chopped off, for work!


OK, now that I triggered a nice and edutaining melee :rofl: I’ll tell you that I pronounce GIF like in “guitar” :smiley: Everybody who does it differently is a heretic and should be treated like somebody who plays a stone with thumb and index finger.

And OK, TBH my new way to pronounce OGS is not really like “ox” but rather like “logs”, without the L <plink plink>