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Re: Why "color"

From: marbux <marbux@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 07:53:13 -0800
Message-ID: <2c60d980902190753m62b030ffh79db3fcf61c2c810@mail.gmail.com>
To: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org>
Cc: Ambrose Li <ambrose.li@gmail.com>, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, Max Harmony <maxh@sdf.lonestar.org>, www-style@w3.org
On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Philip TAYLOR
<Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org> wrote:
>  And no, I'm not going to ask for
> "fount" as a synonym for "font", so you needn't
> think that this is just the thin end of the wedge :-)

Thanks. There's been enough violence done already to the historical
meaning of "font." In the computer era, it's acquired the meaning of
"type face." But it was actually a unit of measurement, a useful
*quantity* of different characters, sorts, etc. of a given type face.
So one shop might order 50 fonts of the same typeface because they
needed more than 1 font to set type for, e.g., a book. Many shops I
worked in had more than a single font of a given type face that saw
heavy usage.

When I was a International Typographical Union apprentice back in the
early 60s, the first time I referred to a type face as a "font" in
conversation, I got a royal shellacking from a journeyman and an
instruction to look up the word in Webster's Unabridged.

It was a memorable event, never forgotten. I still cringe every time I
see someone referring to a type face as a "font." Unfortunately, it
happens a lot. The word has acquired a new and quite different meaning
and I don't think there's any going back.

Best regards,


Universal Interoperability Council
Received on Thursday, 19 February 2009 15:53:48 UTC

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