The Daily Telegraph

Gifs that stopped giving


The company behind gifs – those little snippets of video matter that people deploy on social media – has deliberate­ly quoted the opinion of younger users who describe the intrusive items as “cringe”. Why are gifs so annoying and underwhelm­ing, like watching your father dance? Certainly, when used as a device to give reaction to a comment they are hackneyed and second hand. They are worse than those tiresome verbal exclamatio­ns “OMG!” or “Wow. Just wow.” It doesn’t help that the libraries of stock responses used by gif-fans often feature characters from American sitcoms of which we know nothing. By the time, maybe quite soon, that gifs become a piece of history perhaps the still hot debate over their pronunciat­ion – with a hard “g” like gift or with a soft one like jiff – will finally have been resolved.

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