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Re: grave item
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: grave item
- From: Dorothy Africa <africa@LAW.HARVARD.EDU>
- Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 08:46:55 -0500
- In-Reply-To: <X000000006a1d7a0@MHS>
- Message-Id: <199801051346.FAA22552@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
I've no objection to someone coining the term Letterpress Era to
denote the period between Gutenberg and the laser jet printer, but
please not to confuse your etymology.
font as in fountain from Latin fons (noun) a source or spring (of
water) in such usages as baptismal font
font as in type from Latin fundo, fundere (verb) to pour, the usage
behind such a thing as cast type
Obviously the two words have a common origin in Latin in the idea of
something fluid gushing forth, be it water or molten metal, but people
who spoke Latin would have no reason to connect the idea of poured metal
with words. The two nouns probably collapse into a single spelling in
late middle English somewhere. Maybe we should blame Caxton, or Wynkin
de Word, which is easier than hauling out the middle English dictionary.
So much for the pedantry of the day, now back to Dilbert.........