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Old 04-05-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default Spelling of fount

Do many people use the 'fount' spelling these days? It was the English spelling of fr. fonte, but except for a Canadian piece about wooden types, I haven't seen it lately.

   
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Do many people use the 'fount' spelling these days? It was the English spelling of fr. fonte, but except for a Canadian piece about wooden types, I haven't seen it lately.
Well, for baptisms in Episcopalian churches, maybe . . .

   
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:59 AM   #3
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KT:

for baptisms in Episcopalian churches

Serious answers only, please! But I'm astonished to hear that the American Episcopalian Church is now in schism from the Church of England, which still refers to the receptacle for baptismal water as a 'font' (as do Catholics everywhere).

   
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:36 AM   #4
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Well, I have only rarely seen the word fount in Canada. I consider it an affectation of someone who wants to colour colors and favour favors, but doesn't notice this is an -ount word, not an -our word.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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Don:

I consider it an affectation of someone who wants to colour colors and favour favors

Well, thought is free; but 'fount' is not an affectation but tha standard English spelling until a few years ago. I had never heard of a 'font' (except as something found in baptisteries of churches) until at least 1988, when I took up using a computer for writing, instead of a pen or typewriter.

The term used by English proofreaders was 'wrong fount', but you would not of noticed unless you looked up the meaning of 'w.f.' as a marginal correction.

Incidentally, the term came from French in the sixteenth century, when the English of fondre was 'found'; should foundries be called 'fondries'?

   
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:53 PM   #6
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I see the word spelled 'fount' to mean 'source' as in "the fount of all knowledge", but a typeface is a 'font' here in the U.S., as far as I know.

   
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:32 AM   #7
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I see the word spelled 'fount' to mean 'source' as in "the fount of all knowledge", but a typeface is a 'font' here in the U.S., as far as I know.
A typeface is a design. A font is a functional interpretation of a typeface. You can have many fonts of the same typeface (i.e., the Linotype version, the Bitstream version, and another from URW, licensed to multiple other “foundries.”

Just being pedantic.

I do not find any use of fount in the U.S., looking at books that go back to the middle of the 19th century at least. My 1904 copy of a book on composition by De Vinne lists font, with many entries; there is no mention of fount at all.

   
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Do many people use the 'fount' spelling these days? It was the English spelling of fr. fonte, but except for a Canadian piece about wooden types, I haven't seen it lately.
I looked in some old American books on type, including one dated 1904 by Theodore Lowe De Vinne — fount does not appear; font does.

If fount was ever used with respect to type and printing in this country, it must have been in the 18th century.

   
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:47 AM   #9
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Franca:

a typeface is a 'font' here in the U.S., as far as I know

As far as I know too; only Englishmen (well, Britons) would have known 'fount', which is the only spelling given in the 1975 Chambers Dictionary. Now the spelling is relegated to 'British variant' of 'font'.

   
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:56 AM   #10
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KT:

I do not find any use of fount in the U.S.

But that was not the question, which was when did Britons start to regard the 'font' spelling as the norm? Definitely post-1975. De Vinne wouldn't have listed 'fount', as he was, I believe, an American. Possibly Mencken (?) was right: 'American' is a language in its own right.

   
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