Mighty allfather of FPS games and co-creator of Doom John Romero decrees that 'gib' is pronounced in the most upsetting way possible

john romero noclip
(Image credit: Noclip on YouTube)

Do you remember that debate a while back over how one pronounces "gif"? You know, those funny little moving pictures your mate on Discord sends you at 3AM to inflict psychic damage on you. Fortunately, nobody's arguing about that at all anymore. 

This lie I tell myself is now being joined by a memory I shall, henceforth, forever repress—John Romero, id Software co-founder and co-creator of a little first person shooter called Doom—has decreed that FPS lingo "gib" (to blow someone to smithereens, such as their body breaks into bloody giblets) is pronounced in a way I simply cannot abide.

(Image credit: @romero on Twitter/X.)

"Gibs is pronounced with a soft 'g'," says Romero from atop his throne of lies and, I assume, skulls: "like in 'giblets,' the word from which it originates, or 'gentleman.'" 

I mean—listen, Romero isn't wrong. Giblets is indeed pronounced with a soft g (which produces a sort of J sound) but that doesn't mean the shortened term has to be. Please ignore the fact that I think "gif" is pronounced with a hard g entirely because "graphics" is as well. We're not here to talk about me, we're here to talk about bloody chunks of FPS splatter.

Despite ostensibly writing words for a living, eight hours a day, five days a week, my opinion on how words should be used (and spoken) is tremendously vibe-based. This might sound counterintuitive, but like most things, the more you learn about the English language, the less it makes any kind of sense.

For instance: Did you know that a factoid, used in common parlance to mean "a little fact", originally meant a fact that was false, but sounded real? Or that Shakespeare invented the words bubble, bandit, and critic? Or that "laser" is an acronym, or that "Wi-Fi" isn't? We're all just making stuff up, all the damn time, and it never stops.

So sure, if you look at how we use language currently, Romero's argument (which I am taking entirely too seriously) pans out. Most abbreviations are pronounced the same way as their root words. I spent entirely too long looking up abbreviations to find one that bucked this trend, and the best I could find is the common gaming term "char", which is short for "character". Otherwise, score one to Romero.

However, score infinity to me: try and say "insta-gibbed" like Romero's suggesting. Insta-jibbed. It doesn't sound right. I was jibbed in a video game. It's tongue poison. 

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.