Here’s one to really raise the blood pressure.
The follow-up comments were just as clueless.
The whole font and typeface things used to make perfect sense back in the days when all the letters, numerals, etc., of a particular size and weight (a font or a fount) were stored in a drawer. The collection of pieces making up, say, agate-sized Caslon Bold was a font. Minion-sized Caslon Italic was another font in the typeface design named Caslon.
Digital type, in many ways renders the distinction between font and typeface a whole lot less meaningful. The typeface Caslon still exists, but what exactly constitutes a font in digital typography? A particular company’s version of Caslon? Are Caslon Italic and Caslon Roman two different fonts? Does a font refer to the collection of all the glyphs in a particular weight or the weight itself. What about a variable font that contains multiple axis and can create an infinite variety of sizes, weights and widths? Is that even a font or just a computer file with code that enable someone to type something out in Caslon, the typeface?
I’m beginning to think that the whole notion of a font is now so far removed from what it once meant that the word is an anachronism that ought to be retired to a font drawer along with handset type. Then again most everyone today has co-opted the term font to mean what is more accurately called a typeface. I’ve mostly given up on it and don’t bother arguing with people when they misuse the word font. I’m simultaneously frustrated and amused when I read people’s wildly off and contradictory definitions.
The English language has never stood still, and maybe this is just another example of it moving forward to deal with a new set of circumstances.
You are right, this probably will change, especially with the onset of variable fonts, where one incarnation of a family is all of them.
In the meantime, whilst the terms do still exist as individual and distinct, the irony of the fact that the lowest common denominator in the design industry puts out a purportedly educative post and gets it exactly the wrong way around is not lost on any of us, I’m sure.
There’s now an army of wannabe professionals that have no idea why terms exist, that font / fount has anything to do with its industrial past. No idea why upper and lower case are so called. This ignorance is so endemic that even the companies directly involved in the design industry don’t have a clue what they are talking about.
I know that sounds very ‘old fart’, ‘country’s gone to the dogs’ stuff, but dammit p, there has to be at least a basic level of knowledge.
Don’t get them started on DPI vs PPI…
Through in a few other things - I can’t see the comments, I have no social media accounts at all.
It’s like a Dolphin is a Porpoise, but not all Porpoises are Dolphins!
Or something like that.
Funny enough, it’s probably where the term ‘sort’ came from too. As a sort is one piece.
But didn’t font come from the French word, fonte, to melt metal.
You can’t melt metal on a computer so digital fonts should really be called digital typefaces…
It did, but how many things in our lives still have names that hark back to their past? People will still say, when videoing something , ‘I have it on tape’. We crop an image, which has agricultural etymology. I could go on … and often do!!
Crop is just a word though to make something shorter - I doubt it had any connotation from agriculture… maybe it did, but you can have a bumper crop, which is a larger yield, not smaller.
Definitely, we have many words in English that derived from different languages over the years.
It originates from a Germanic word for the head or swollen part of a plant, which I guess, in turn, came to mean the cutting off of this part of the plant, thus cutting generally.
That’s very interesting! Suppose that’s where it originated in cutting hair too.
I didn’t know that at all, thanks.
The entire language was cobbled together from elsewhere? There are fewer than 600 Celtic words in the language but tens of thousands with Latin or Germanic roots.