Steve Wilhite made the controversial declaration during an interview withthe New York Times in the run up to the Webby Awards where he will accept a lifetime achievement award.
He said he was proud of his creation but remained annoyed that most people failed to get its name right.
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” he said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
The announcement caused shock and outrage on Twitter, where users reacted with horror. “I refuse to accept this,” said one, while another tweeted “My life has no meaning any more”.
Commentator Caitlin Moran summed up the backlash: “Twitter quite obdurate you will prize “gif” out of our cold, dead three-second clip-looped hands.”