font/fount of information

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Nunty, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I just wanted to remark to friends that someone is "a veritable fount of information" but then I thought it must be "font". Then I decided it should be "fount" after all. Then "font".

    So I decided to ask. When I want to say someone has a great deal of information (or wisdom or whatever) at their disposal and they make it available to others: is it "font" or "fount"?

    Thank you. :)
  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    My dictionary indicates that the answer to your queston is "yes". :)

    (As far as I can tell, either may be used...)
  3. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    I would use font. It's just the one that sounds right, to me.

    Here is an interesting article that says font is correct, because font is usually a basin or receptacle from which you can draw water, perform a baptism, etc. A fountain, on the other hand, is a source of water that continuously flows. If you wish to use one metaphorically, the water must stand still in order for you to draw from it, therefore, font is the correct word.
  4. johndot Senior Member

    English - England
    I would always use “fount”, because a fountain gives out vital stuff whereas a font holds it.

    “He is always spouting knowledge.”
    “He’s a source of information.”

    Although “font” can also mean fount, not many people know that, and they would be the ones puzzled by an apparent mis-collocation.

    Edit: having seen the answer above, this has been really helpful, hasn't it?
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)

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