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Font vs fount

  • Font and fount are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions of font and fount, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

    The word font has two basic meanings. First, font may describe a basin or other receptacle that holds holy water for the purpose of baptismal ceremonies in a Christian church. The second meaning of font is a typeface, such as Comic Sans font, Times New Roman font or Courier font. The word font to mean a baptismal font is derived from the Latin word fons, meaning spring or fountain. The word font to mean a typeface is derived from the French word fonte which means a casting.

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    Fount means a source of something desirable such as a moral or psychological attribute or material supplies. However, fount is sometimes used as an abbreviation of the word fountain, and may lead to confusion with the word font. The word fount is in fact a back formation from the word fountain. Remember, when used to describe plumbing, font only refers to a baptismal font, while fount may refer to any other type of fountain.

    Examples

    Wooden furnishings include chairs, long, varnished benches where visitors to the shipyard headquarters once sat and wooden pews and a baptismal font from the Church of Our Savior that was converted into the museum. (The Cherry Hill Courier-Post)

    The creator of much-reviled font Comic Sans has revealed he actually designed the font for a cartoon dog called Rover. (The Telegraph)

    “Kamani is bright and original, a fount of curiosity in himself, but also a nurturer of curiosity in others,” said Dr. Frankel, English faculty at LCC. (The Lamar Ledger)

    Portraying the most fully realised character, Tonkin shines as a fount of sardonic humour, as well as the main reservoir of emotional sincerity in the play. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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