No Matter How You Pronounce “GIF”, The Way BTS’s RM Says It May Shock You

Did RM just end the “jif” vs “gif” debate, or did he take it to a whole new level?

The pronunciation of the moving image file type “GIF” has long been debated. While the creators of the GIF pronounce it “jif” with a soft “g,” numerous people believe it should be pronounced with a hard “g” like the word “gift.” But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, you won’t be prepared for BTS RM‘s pronunciation.

In last month’s episode 143 of Run BTS!, the BTS members were quizzed on children’s stories before writing and illustrating their own. RM and Jimin wrote Gooreum the Earth Protector, Jin and Jungkook wrote One Strand, and J-Hope and V decided to title their story A Spoonful of Heart.

In the recently uploaded behind-the-scenes video for episode 143, RM thought A Spoonful of Heart sounded very familiar—just like the kind of messages BTS’s parents’ generation shares on social media. “Today, I will share a spoonful of my heart with you,” RM gave as an example, adding that the message would be sent in a “sparkling and twinkling GIF file.” But RM didn’t pronounce GIF as “gif” or as “jif”…

Instead, he pronounced it “G-I-F,” sounding out the letters individually!

Unsurprisingly, international ARMYs across social media were in shock when they heard his choice. Some say RM ended the decades-long GIF pronunciation argument just like that, while for others, the leader has reignited the “gif” vs “jif” flame with a new contender.

On the other side of the debate, several ARMYs were shocked that their fellow fandom-mates don’t pronounce GIF as “G-I-F”—and they have a point. After all, it is an acronym short for “Graphics Interchange Format.”

Either way, while the “G-I-F” pronunciation may come as a shock to numerous English speakers, Korean ARMYs agreed that it is actually the standard way to say GIF in South Korea. Younger generations also use the term “oomjjal,” short for the Korean translation of “moving meme.”

Has RM broadened your mind on the “jif” vs “gif” debate, or were you always Team “G-I-F” to begin with?