"fonted" = 'identified on screen'?

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue May 20 14:54:36 UTC 2008

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> In a discussion of whether and when talking heads are identified by
> nicknames rather than by their official first + last name when they
> appear on television, Mike & Mike (on ESPN radio and television this
> morning) were using "fonted" as a past participle, apparently because
> the same guy who does the identification for their and other ESPN
> shows is in charge of selecting the fonts in which the identification
> is made.  So Mike Golic asked Mike Greenberg, in jest, whether the
> latter had "ever been fonted as Greenie", the hypocoristic by which
> he is often referred to verbally on their show.  (Did you catch this,
> Alice?)  In a quick search on google, I wasn't able to find any other
> instances of "fonted (as)" with this sense, so maybe it was a nonce
> creation that will now disappear, but if not, you read it here first.

I would've guessed that "chyron" would be a more likely candidate for
verbing in this context. And indeed there are a handful of relevant
Googlehits for "chyroned as".

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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