How do you pronounce IF?

I recently watch the Get Lamp documentary and everyone pronounced IF as “eye. eff.” I’ve always pronounced it as “if,” which I think reflects all of IF’s possibilities nicely. How do you pronounce IF?

  • “eye eff”
  • “if”

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That is in fact a very interesting question!

I mostly read it as “eye eff”, but since I’m French, I had to force myself at the begining, if I recall correctly. Otherwise I would read it as “ee eff”, French-way. (I may still read it like that depending on the surrounding text.)

However, when I speak, I prefer not to use the acronym and simply say “interactive fiction” (or “fiction interactive” when I speak in French).

“Fun” anecdote: Before I joined the French community, everyone there wrote “IF” even in French, despite it being an English acronym. (I guess most of them pronounced it the French way, “ee eff”.) I made a point to always write “FI” instead (pronounced “eff ee”, for the French “fiction interactive”) and people started doing the same, and now we could consider it as the “official” acronym. (“IF” is still used, too, unfortunately.)

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I have heard people at the London IF Meetups pronounce IFComp as “Iffcomp”, which surprised me. IF is quite a fortunate acronym, considering that the word “if” introduces a conditional clause. Traditionally, most of the choices in a choice-based story began with the word “if”.

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I think the official pronunciation should be a cycling link with two settings.

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That’s what I always say. And I say If-DB. However, if I’m ever referring just to IF (like if I were to say “the IF community”, I’d say Eye-Eff for clarity.

“EeeeeF”

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Heh, this reminds me of when everyone used to call id software “eye dee” before collectively realizing it was actually the Freudian “id.”

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Depends on what the meaning of if is…