Recently, I had a lot of stuff to do for various research and other projects and unfortunately this will go on for some time. So, the article ratio in this blog will stay at a moderate level for some weeks, sorry.
But luckily there’s procrastination!
Sitting in the library, reading and writing stuff may cause some damage in your head eventually and even staring out the window won’t be a cure then. So I ended up typing stuff into search engines. And I thought it might be interesting to look for “GIF” in Google’s Ngram Viewer. This entertained me for some time and brought my sanity back to an almost normal level (believe it or not).
Right now I don’t have the time to analyse the graphs in detail, I regret. But hey, at least here is an overview on how often the word GIF appears in Google’s scanned book corpora of several languages. I also looked for APNG and MNG in English books. You will notice that, even before the invention of the file format in 1987, the graphs are slightly above zero. The explanation for that is simple. Of course, “graphics interchange format” is not the only possible solution for the abbreviation “GIF”. Some other incidents, I stumble upon from time to time, are Gif-sur-Yvette, a municipality near Paris, the German “Gesellschaft für Interdisziplinäre Forschung” and “German Israeli Research Foundation”, as well as the “Glucocorticoid Increasing Factor”, the “Neuronal Growth Inhibitory Factor” and the “Gastric Intrinsic Factor Gene“. So, if you’ll ever search for literature about GIFs, beware of those :)
Ok. Now for the statistics! Maybe I will have a more detailed look on them later. Remember that these graphs only show trends for books and don’t cover online usage!
Chinese – You might wonder why I searched for “GIF” instead of the chinese glyph. Well, because I don’t know it, of course. But even the chinese version of Wikipedia uses the latin alphabet for it.
French – The high percentage of “Gif”, even before the 90s, may relate to Gif-sur-Yvette
Russian – I also included ГИФ and ДЖИФ as cyrillic alternatives. Honestly, I have no clue what “Гиф” means or if it is a proper russian word at all, but the phrase seems to be not as popular now as some years ago. Actually, the downward trend became serious right when GIFs became popular. Note that there are no results for “ДЖИФ”, which is read as “jiff”.
And English again, but this time for APNG and MNG. APNG seems to be an almost unique ETLA, but MNG refers to a lot of stuff.