This is a piece of humor that was sent around to me by my then-boss Scott Taylor, at Skylight Software. Note the lack of an @ in the address... we didn't have an Internet connection yet. =).

This is from someone at Microsoft – copy and pasted from his terminal program where he'd dialed in to their Xenix machine to check his vendor email account. The original author's name is lost in the mists of time, although I'd be happy to credit it if anyone knew.

It's slightly dated, and slightly Microsoft-centric, but fun anyway.



From: Scott Taylor

Sent: Saturday, April 24, 1993 12:22 AM

To: Funny

Subject: For those of you doing TextMetrics stuff...

Where Font Names Come From

Named for the ancient Druid priestess/goddess Arial, goddess of slimy amphibians. She was said to possess magical powers that could turns toads in to frogs and serfis in to sans serifs.

Serifs were ancient druid daemons that came in the night and cut off extremities and vestigial organs. Sans serifs are faeries that leave stock options under your pillow when you are asleep.

A descendent, (descender?) of Helvetica, Viking goddess of INVISIBLE serifs, which are completely different than sans serifs. -- No one cared then. No one cares now.

Name originates with the ancient Roman writer and philosopher Flatus Elongus, inventor of the copyright infringement and the author of the ancient writ, "Quo Sukem Dri", on which later versions of business law were loosely based. Inventor of the font Times Roamin', which was originally used by newspapers for ancient, nomadic tribes in Northern Etrusca.

Named for office boys at the Underwood Typewriter Works and Proprietary Sweathouse in Hosewood Illinois in 1887. They (the couriers) quickly whooshed things to and fro, before they got smart and moved desks slightly closer together, at which point they became "elite" couriers, or just elite. After that, they put 12 desks per office instead of just 10. Life was good. Soot was considered a garnish for food. People read Dickens to cheer themselves up...

The first electronic printer font ever; Name for lines and printers, which is what people had, and what many of them did in the 70's Later, Ronald Regan became president, Nancy started a crusade, and disco became passe. People began drinking Evian and going to health clubs, and bonding, too. The font was not subsequently renamed. Now, its just a really stupid, pointless name for a tiny little font that has nothing to do with anything.

Named for Helvetica, the ancient goddess of san serif fonts and Viking helmets with horns on them. The star of many Wagnerian operas, she is in fact the fat lady who had to sing before you could go home. She was a precursor, or precurser to Arial, druid goddess of amphibians.

PostScript font. An self-explanatory work of the Apple brain trust, who, as I now write, is preparing a lawsuit against IBM to be brought forth in the year 2000, at which time they will sue IBM for stealing the "look and feel" of silliness.

A pretentious font invented by the artistic community in Greenwich Village in Noo Yawk in 1927. Looks just like Helvetica with scaling mistakes. Helvetica was a goddess, the "avant garde" were agnostics and did not recognize goddesses. Some of them moved on the become bohemians, beatniks, and Apple employees, who developed cute little computers with smiley faces that go "Bwing!" when you power them up, in order to kill time between Grateful Dead concerts. William S. Burroughs, author of "Naked Lunch split from their ranks to join Interzone in 1952. At least Bill had a more vivid, albeit psychotic imagination.

Daughter of Helvetica, inventor of Slim-Fast and amphetamines. Goddess of anorexia and bulimia. Wife of William S. Burroughs, until they played the "William Tell" game one too many times.

A serif font designed specifically to make physics texts impossible to read, which was a boon to the elite scientific community, who install 12 Bunsen burners per laboratory.

I would have liked to think we were immune to overt cuteness. Evidently not... Someone in marketing named Binky or Buffy dreamed up this as the result of a profound revelation experienced at a Barry Manilow concert. See "Dingbats". Wait, don't...

A dignified, yet stuffy serif font invented in the ancient Provence of Zapf, by the resident chancery. A chancery is a court with jurisdiction in equity. The same court rules over copyright infringements. Flatus Elongus, (See Times New Roman) dreamed up the idea of a chancery, too. I swear...

Name after a breed of beige colored horse. Trigger was one of these. Trigger is stuffed now, although Roy Rogers still yodels on television from time to time. How this relates to a font is your problem, I'm just the historian around here, and I never lie. Go ask trigger if you really want to be complete AR.

Invented by dwarves in the parking lot of building 9 under the direction of Vestiga, modern god of pointless, text-based word processors. He (Vestiga) is bored these days, and spends most of his time in Ogden, Utah tormenting people who try to program with the Windows SDK.