The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

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How should ".gif" be pronounced?

Hard G (as in gimp)
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74%
Soft G (as in giraffe)
45
26%
 
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The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Adam H » Wed May 29, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

Soft G or hard G?

Why is your answer objectively right and the other answer objectively wrong?

Note the question is "how should it be pronounced" not "which pronunciation do you prefer", and I didn't put a neutral option like "otter/duck", because this is serious fucking business.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 4:20 pm UTC

Hard G, obviously.
Graphic, not jraphic
GNU is pronounce GNU, not JNU [ http://www.gnu.org/pronunciation/ ]

Soft 'g' sounds in monosyllabic g words are rare.

See: give, girl, gill, gild, vs gin, which came from the Dutch word for juniper, "genever", originally a j in older languages.

Seriously, it's obvious.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 4:22 pm UTC

I pronounce it with a hard G and silent F.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby SlyReaper » Wed May 29, 2013 4:26 pm UTC

It's pronounced like the g in garage.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby eSOANEM » Wed May 29, 2013 4:27 pm UTC

Cross-posting from the thread in news:

eSOANEM wrote:
Suzaku wrote:My response to this:

You may have invented the technology, but you didn't invent the language. I am not going to change my pronunciation just because you say so. So there. Neener neener neener.


Exactly. Gif sounds nicer to me, seems to have become (certainly where I'm from) the standard pronunciation (jif is incredibly uncommon here) and makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

Also, quick survey of short words I can think of beginning with gi:

gig = hard g (both times)
gill = hard g
gin = soft g
git = hard g
give = hard g

So almost all words with similar structure to "gif" use a hard g. The only reason to go against that when it makes more sense for so many reasons is if you're some kind of jit.


To clarify, by short words, I meant words beginning gi and ending in a single consonant (in terms of actual phonetics rather than spelling because spelling would be a silly guideline) i.e. things with the same syllable structure as gif.

It's also worth noting that "give" has the most similar structure and is also a hard g.

SlyReaper wrote:It's pronounced like the g in garage.


:|
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Xeio » Wed May 29, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:Note the question is "how should it be pronounced" not "which pronunciation do you prefer"
:roll:
SlyReaper wrote:It's pronounced like the g in garage.
<3

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Adam H wrote:Note the question is "how should it be pronounced" not "which pronunciation do you prefer"
:roll:

You're in the relijious wars thread to fight for reasonable discussion and allowing personal preference?
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Xeio » Wed May 29, 2013 4:37 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Adam H wrote:Note the question is "how should it be pronounced" not "which pronunciation do you prefer"
:roll:
You're in the relijious wars thread to fight for reasonable discussion and allowing personal preference?
Wait, there are religious wars that don't revolve almost exclusively around personal preference?

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed May 29, 2013 4:38 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Gif ... makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

End discussion. Everyone else is wrong.

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 4:47 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Gif ... makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

End discussion. Everyone else is wrong.

True, but I think it doesn't hurt to add in that the closest words in the English language (gift and give) are also pronounced with a hard 'g'.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 4:50 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Gif ... makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

End discussion. Everyone else is wrong.


How do you pronounce do you pronounce LASER? What about FAQ?
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby SlyReaper » Wed May 29, 2013 5:07 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
WibblyWobbly wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Gif ... makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

End discussion. Everyone else is wrong.


How do you pronounce do you pronounce LASER? What about FAQ?

I pronounce FAQ as "eff ay kyew". I didn't know anyone tried to pronounce it as a word.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Xenomortis » Wed May 29, 2013 5:12 pm UTC

jif sounds dumb.
Do I need another reason?

What the creator says can be dutifully ignored because it's silly. Indeed, there is precedent for this course of action.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Iranon » Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm UTC

GIF seems pretty unambiguous - hard g.

fʌk and leɪzər. Some conventions aren't worth following when they become clumsy.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 5:31 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
WibblyWobbly wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Gif ... makes more sense because it's a Graphical Interchange Format file.

Graphical.

With a hard g.

End discussion. Everyone else is wrong.


How do you pronounce do you pronounce LASER? What about FAQ?

Did you miss my statement about "give" and "gift"? It's totally clear-cut with "gif". It follows the normal pronunciation rules for other common words AND what the acronym stands for.

FAQ is the same. I pronounce it like what the acronym stands for and the closest English word: fact without the t.

Laser is less clear-cut because following the acronym sounds would end up being unlike all the normal English rules. Lasser with a single 's' just doesn't happen in English. So either "lasser" or "lazer" would be OK. Obviously we picked one and went with it - the one that matches phaser. Not an argument against gif.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 5:39 pm UTC

My point is that there is no rule that states that the pronunciation of acronyms is based on the words they are made up of. When all is said and done, English is just a horribly inconsistent language, and trying to say there is only one valid pronunciation for a given combination of letters is a bit silly (see read).
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Xenomortis » Wed May 29, 2013 5:44 pm UTC

Pronunciation is not done on a "per letter combination" basis, but on a "per word" basis.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 5:51 pm UTC

When the name of the language itself breaks the spelling conventions, you can pretty much throw all arguments about consistency out of the window.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 5:59 pm UTC

The fact that language is wibbly-wobbly is totally true, but that doesn't mean that there are no correct pronunciations.

Gif has a hard 'g' and you sound like an idiot pronouncing it otherwise. Same with gift and give.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 6:01 pm UTC

If someone makes up a word, shouldn't that person decide the pronunciation?
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:If someone makes up a word, shouldn't that person decide the pronunciation?

No. They can have an opinion, but if their opinion is dumb, we'll laugh at them and carry on.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby SlyReaper » Wed May 29, 2013 6:14 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:If someone makes up a word, shouldn't that person decide the pronunciation?

Language does not work that way.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Xeio » Wed May 29, 2013 6:15 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Gif has a hard 'g' and you sound like an idiot pronouncing it otherwise. Same with gift and give.
You keep saying it's so clear cut when there are dozens of examples of both pronunciations in English.

Also, why is "give" closer than "gist"? Clearly "gin" and "gift" tie for closest but I don't even know what point you're trying to make about being close. That might work if English followed rules but it doesn't.

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Thesh » Wed May 29, 2013 6:20 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Thesh wrote:If someone makes up a word, shouldn't that person decide the pronunciation?

Language does not work that way.


Then please, enlighten me.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Adam H » Wed May 29, 2013 6:34 pm UTC

Yes the G stands for Graphical. But the P in JPEG stands for Photography and you don't pronounce it "JEG" or "JAY-FEG" .

The letter G is pronounced with a soft G. :P

Gif phonetically looks like a word that's pronounced with a soft G, IMO.

"Jif" doesn't sound dumb to anyone who had a decent childhood and ate Jif peanut butter.

I've never actually heard it said with a hard G. Only soft. Whether that has to do with the people I associate with, or the part of the world I'm in, I don't know.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 7:11 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Роберт wrote:Gif has a hard 'g' and you sound like an idiot pronouncing it otherwise. Same with gift and give.
You keep saying it's so clear cut when there are dozens of examples of both pronunciations in English.

Also, why is "give" closer than "gist"? Clearly "gin" and "gift" tie for closest but I don't even know what point you're trying to make about being close. That might work if English followed rules but it doesn't.


Because the only difference between give and gif is the whether or not the final labio dental fricative is voiced or unvoiced. I don't get how you think gin and gift tie for closest. An alveolar nasal is nothing like anything in gif.

And I already covered what gin comes from: juniper. Of course it's a j sound. There's another word spelled 'gin' in English that is pronounced with a hard 'g'. A shortening of the word "begin".

Look, the dictionaries recognize the correct pronunciation of gif, even though it goes against what the creator specified. Shouldn't that tell you something?

Look, wikipedia will explain exactly why it should be pronounce gif rather than jif:
According to Steve Wilhite, the creator of the GIF format, the intended pronunciation deliberately echoes the American peanut butter brand, Jif, and CompuServe employees would often say "Choosy developers choose GIF", spoofing this brand's television commercials. As of 2013, Wilhite remains annoyed that there is debate over the pronunciation.

Super lame. Super duper lame. No way I'm participating in that.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed May 29, 2013 7:25 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:"Jif" doesn't sound dumb to anyone who had a decent childhood and ate Jif peanut butter.


Actually, it sounds dumb to me specifically because of the association with peanut butter. The name of the peanut butter always seemed silly to me to begin with, but now you want me to associate a graphics file with a silly-sounding name that ALREADY IS THE NAME OF A SILLY PEANUT BUTTER? Nope. And yes, I find Jif peanut butter inherently silly. Now, Skippy: there's a solid, upstanding, serious peanut comestible.

Роберт wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Роберт wrote:Gif has a hard 'g' and you sound like an idiot pronouncing it otherwise. Same with gift and give.
You keep saying it's so clear cut when there are dozens of examples of both pronunciations in English.

Also, why is "give" closer than "gist"? Clearly "gin" and "gift" tie for closest but I don't even know what point you're trying to make about being close. That might work if English followed rules but it doesn't.


Because the only difference between give and gif is the whether or not the final labio dental fricative is voiced or unvoiced. I don't get how you think gin and gift tie for closest. An alveolar nasal is nothing like anything in gif.


I know we're already on the same side of the argument, but this makes a hell of a lot of sense to me.

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Adam H » Wed May 29, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Look, the dictionaries recognize the correct pronunciation of gif, even though it goes against what the creator specified. Shouldn't that tell you something?

My dictionary says both are acceptable.

(Obviously, I disagree. :P )
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 7:39 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:
Роберт wrote:Look, the dictionaries recognize the correct pronunciation of gif, even though it goes against what the creator specified. Shouldn't that tell you something?

My dictionary says both are acceptable.

(Obviously, I disagree. :P )

So do I. :P
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 29, 2013 9:41 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:If someone makes up a word, shouldn't that person decide the pronunciation?
Nope, the community of people who use a word decide the pronunciation.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Adam H » Wed May 29, 2013 10:08 pm UTC

Spoiler:
In words of Romance origin, 'g' is mainly soft before 'e', 'i', and 'y' and hard otherwise, although it is soft in algae, gaol, margarine, and an alternative pronunciation of vegan. While the soft value of 'g' varies in different Romance languages (/ʒ/ in French and Portuguese, [(d)ʑ] in Catalan, /d͡ʒ/ in Italian and Romanian, and /x/ in some Spanish dialects, and /h/ in other dialects), in all except Romanian and Italian, soft 'g' has the same pronunciation as the 'j'.

There are many English words of non-Romance origin where 'g' is hard though followed by 'e' or 'i' (e.g. get, gift), and a few in which 'g' is soft though followed by 'a' (margarine). Non-Romance languages typically use 'g' to represent /ɡ/ regardless of position.

In English orthography, the pronunciation of hard ⟨g⟩ is /ɡ/ and that of soft ⟨g⟩ is /dʒ/; in a number of French loanwords, soft ⟨g⟩ is /ʒ/. In word roots of non-Germanic origin, the soft ⟨g⟩ pronunciation occurs before ⟨i e y⟩ while the hard ⟨g⟩ pronunciation occurs elsewhere;[2] Digraphs and trigraphs, such as ⟨ng⟩, ⟨gg⟩, and ⟨dge⟩, have their own pronunciation rules.

Notable exceptions include words of Greco-Romance origin, such as algae; the digraphs ae and oe often take the soft pronunciation.[2] Other notable irregularities include margarine (despite the name Margaret having a hard g) and mortgagor, pronounced with a soft ⟨g⟩; gaol and gaoler, alternative spellings of jail and jailer; as well as a few American English spellings such as judgment and abridgment, pronounced the same as the more-common-in-British English spellings judgement and abridgement.

While ⟨c⟩, which also has hard and soft pronunciations, exists alongside ⟨k⟩ (which always indicates a hard pronunciation), ⟨g⟩ has no analogous letter or letter combination which consistently indicates a hard ⟨g⟩ sound, even though English uses ⟨j⟩ consistently for the soft ⟨g⟩ sound (the rationale for the spelling change of "gaol" to "jail" in American English). This leads to special issues regarding the "neatness" of orthography when suffixes are added to words that end in a hard-⟨g⟩ sound.

A little wikipedia research leads me to believe that g is usually soft when followed by i in words of romantic (non-germanic) origin. So the real question is, does .gif have more romantic or germanic roots?? :P
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Роберт » Wed May 29, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:A little wikipedia research leads me to believe that g is usually soft when followed by i in words of romantic (non-germanic) origin. So the real question is, does .gif have more romantic or germanic roots?? :P

Good point. Since it originated in English, which is not a romance language, it shouldn't be soft. You have me convinced.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby eSOANEM » Thu May 30, 2013 12:13 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Роберт wrote:Gif has a hard 'g' and you sound like an idiot pronouncing it otherwise. Same with gift and give.
You keep saying it's so clear cut when there are dozens of examples of both pronunciations in English.

Also, why is "give" closer than "gist"? Clearly "gin" and "gift" tie for closest but I don't even know what point you're trying to make about being close. That might work if English followed rules but it doesn't.


give is a labiodontal fricative alone as a syllable coda (exactly as in gif), the only difference is voicing of the coda. Gift has the correct voicing, but does not have the labiodontal fricative isolated. Gin is definitely not closest because it's coda is voiced, nasalised, a stop not a fricative and alveolar not labiodontal; the only similarity the coda has is that it is a single phoneme. Gist is more similar because at least the coda begins with a fricative.

It is also not true that English does not have rules for pronunciation, it does, it's just that those rules are very complicated, often depend on whether the word has a germanic, romance or other root and even then still have exceptions. Because these rules (loose though they may be) do exist, minimally different pairs are useful in determining what pronunciation native speakers will find more natural. The fact that most people (certainly where I'm from in the UK) seem to find the hard g more natural is testament to the fact that these methods are useful predictors (albeit without 100% accuracy).

Adam H wrote:Gif phonetically looks like a word that's pronounced with a soft G, IMO.


Seeing as the most phonetically similar words (give and gift) both have a hard g, this is demonstrably false.

Adam H wrote:
Spoiler:
In words of Romance origin, 'g' is mainly soft before 'e', 'i', and 'y' and hard otherwise, although it is soft in algae, gaol, margarine, and an alternative pronunciation of vegan. While the soft value of 'g' varies in different Romance languages (/ʒ/ in French and Portuguese, [(d)ʑ] in Catalan, /d͡ʒ/ in Italian and Romanian, and /x/ in some Spanish dialects, and /h/ in other dialects), in all except Romanian and Italian, soft 'g' has the same pronunciation as the 'j'.


In my dialect, algae is pronounced with a hard g.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby brenok » Thu May 30, 2013 12:18 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Adam H wrote:
Spoiler:
In words of Romance origin, 'g' is mainly soft before 'e', 'i', and 'y' and hard otherwise, although it is soft in algae, gaol, margarine, and an alternative pronunciation of vegan. While the soft value of 'g' varies in different Romance languages (/ʒ/ in French and Portuguese, [(d)ʑ] in Catalan, /d͡ʒ/ in Italian and Romanian, and /x/ in some Spanish dialects, and /h/ in other dialects), in all except Romanian and Italian, soft 'g' has the same pronunciation as the 'j'.


In my dialect, algae is pronounced with a hard g.


In my romance language, too. And "vegan"? I never tought about that.

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby EvanED » Thu May 30, 2013 12:57 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:In my dialect, algae is pronounced with a hard g.
Learn something new every day. Soft g here, and I probably wouldn't have even known what you're talking about if you told me "al-guh" (which apparently is the hard G version).

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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 30, 2013 2:31 am UTC

I think that's a BrE/AmE thing, with algae.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby eSOANEM » Thu May 30, 2013 10:18 am UTC

EvanED wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:In my dialect, algae is pronounced with a hard g.
Learn something new every day. Soft g here, and I probably wouldn't have even known what you're talking about if you told me "al-guh" (which apparently is the hard G version).


Noooooo, my pronunciation is al-gee [ælɡi] (or, in quick speech it sometimes becomes ow-gi [aʊ̯ɡi]). Al-guh [ælɡə] is how I'd pronounce alga (the singular) though. According to wikipedia, this is the only al-guh like pronunciation to do with algae.

It also corroborates that it's a BrE/AmE divide between hard and soft g's in algae.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Iranon » Thu May 30, 2013 11:15 am UTC

Latin words in English: Cruel and unusual pronunciation.
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby Derek » Thu May 30, 2013 10:08 pm UTC

Soft g, obviously.

EvanED
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Re: The One True Pronunciation of ".GIF"

Postby EvanED » Thu May 30, 2013 10:16 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Noooooo, my pronunciation is al-gee [ælɡi] (or, in quick speech it sometimes becomes ow-gi [aʊ̯ɡi]). Al-guh [ælɡə] is how I'd pronounce alga (the singular) though. According to wikipedia, this is the only al-guh like pronunciation to do with algae.
Oh, yes. Apparently I can't read. That makes more sense. :-)


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