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mckeonj
205523.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am Reply with quote

Definitions:
font - a specific size and style of type within a type family
font - baptismal font: bowl for baptismal water

It is the first meaning to be addressed here, that of a 'typeface'.
Originally referred to the box of separate blocks with letters on top used to make up a page for printing in a mechanical press.
Now refers to one of the variety of 'typefaces' available to display text.

There has been much debate; and much interesting information; in these forums regarding unusual and obsolete letters, typically, in the Quite Interestring forum under 'Ampersand'.
One frequent comment has been that some contributors cannot show some of these interesting characters. A special case, worthy of special pleading, is that of suze (whom God preserve) when discussing linguistic matters.
It seems that 'Times New Roman' is the best choice of font for displaying a wide choice of characters, and I suggest that the moderators give some kind of advice to us, indicating which font is recommended for this board, and how to get it.

These obscure letters have such lovely names; like 'thong' and 'jock'.

 
smiley_face
205526.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:55 am Reply with quote

"Font" is the American spelling; "Fount" is officially the English spelling. Or at least suze told me so when I spent it "Font" during one of my anti-Americanism rants.

 
npower1
205585.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:47 am Reply with quote

<initiate pendant mode>
Quote:
when I spent it "Font" during


<abort pendant mode]

 
suze
205605.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:58 am Reply with quote

As noted by John, font and fount were different words, but have often been confused. The use of font for a typeface is first noted in 1652, 31 years before fount (Interestingly, the word was fund before it was either of them).

But fount took over, and font was obsolete in Britain - before being noted in the US in 1828. From there, it's crossed back over the Atlantic in the computer age, and is by now far the more commonly used.

As for fonts or founts on these forums, I don't actually know which one these forums are intended to use. But by clever computerness (I'm being deliberately vague because my knowledge in this area is rather lacking), any character I might include will appear on your screen if you have a font that includes it.

Times New Roman is fine for most things (practically all European Roman alphabet languages, together with most using the Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek and Hebrew scripts), but for those Old English letters (and for IPA) I had to use Doulos SIL - a font designed with students of phonetics in mind - as TNR lacks them. (On account of their not being included in WGL4, for those to whom this means something.)

 
Pyriform
205613.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:28 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
As for fonts or founts on these forums, I don't actually know which one these forums are intended to use.

A sneaky peek at the css code for the forum reveals it to be Verdana.

 
suze
205616.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:31 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Pyriform!

 
Pyriform
205643.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:24 pm Reply with quote

You're welcome.
suze wrote:
But by clever computerness (I'm being deliberately vague because my knowledge in this area is rather lacking), any character I might include will appear on your screen if you have a font that includes it.

Clever browserness, actually. At least one not-so-clever browser (no prizes for guessing which one) has to be told, by the web page designer, which fonts to use.

 
mckeonj
205645.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:36 pm Reply with quote

I came across this delightful piece of avrility involving fonts;
the muddled history of the Island Republic of San Seriffe.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,308487,00.html
Brief extract:
Quote:

Return to San Serriffe

When the world first heard of San Serriffe in April 1977, the tiny state was a sleepy island paradise under the authoritarian leadership of an unpopular general. Visiting the archipelago 22 years on, Berlin Sans discovers a vibrant nation transformed by a visionary leader.

Thursday April 1, 1999
Guardian Unlimited

The centre of Bodoni, the capital of San Serriffe, was, as ever, confused last night as it prepared to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of its discovery, the most dramatic event in the patchy - even blotchy - history of this remote sea-girt nation.

Previous anniversaries had been celebrated with little ceremony. Indeed under the stern military rule of the strongman, General Pica, and his obscure successor (note to subs: have forgotten his name, please check) few Serriffeans felt they had much to celebrate.

 
smiley_face
205684.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:13 pm Reply with quote

npower1 wrote:
<initiate pendant mode>
Quote:
when I spent it "Font" during


<abort pendant mode]

Yes, I made a spelling mistake. I am terribly sorry for this error; I shall go and flagellate myself at once. No amount of pain or punishment could possibly make up for such a sin.

<rolls eyes>

By the way, your second close-bracket should be ">", not "]".

 
npower1
205719.  Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:05 pm Reply with quote

Is it a '[' pt or a '>'. A questionable statement considering this site for some reason requires ''[]' when standard HTML appears to be '<' and '>'.
No, lets get beyond the spelling mistake. Language is a wonderfully imprecise method of communication. The written word is an attempt at encapsulating 'language' in a formal way. Any mistakes/errors are likely to to make communication difficult.
I expect our senior members ( yes smiley_face is in this category, but I do not yet qualify) to make their posts not only comprehensible but also free from (frivolous) attack.

(Please note that I am including my signature)

 
Asta
211875.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:09 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Times New Roman is fine for most things (practically all European Roman alphabet languages, together with most using the Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek and Hebrew scripts), but for those Old English letters (and for IPA) I had to use Doulos SIL - a font designed with students of phonetics in mind - as TNR lacks them. (On account of their not being included in WGL4, for those to whom this means something.)


Oh man. I had a hell of a time using IPA in word processors during college. I worked as a phonological transcriber for a research project, and they made us learn SAMPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAMPA). I still get IPA and SAMPA confused, sadly.

 
suze
212017.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:35 am Reply with quote

I feel your pain, Asta. I was fortunate enough to have access to proper IPA fonts when I was a student, and didn't actually learn X-SAMPA properly until this year (and then only because it was specified for a short course I taught).

Did your school actually use real IPA, or did it prefer APA? (For the benefit of the majority, the Americanist Phonetic Alphabet is an alternative system for writing phonetically and is used quite a lot in the USA and hardly at all anywhere else.)

 
Asta
212157.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:36 am Reply with quote

I've never heard of APA, so I'll assume they used IPA. I'm sure I've still got about half a dozen of those one page IPA charts lying around somewhere....

That research lab used Macs, too. I'd think that'd be easier to work with font-wise. Oh well.

 
eggshaped
212173.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:57 am Reply with quote

Here's a strange site: drawings of ladies in their nick-nicks (and sometimes less) created from keyboard characters in various fonts.

Probably a bit NSFW

link

 
suze
212175.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:59 am Reply with quote

Sensible school! APA is losing ground to IPA, which can only be a good thing from the global point of view, but some universities persist with APA.

When I was studying, it was the norm in texts on North American indigenous languages - and since these were the subject of my doctorate, I had to become familiar with it.

But yes, I've got a bundle of those charts somewhere too!

 

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