"fonted" = 'identified on screen'?

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Tue May 20 15:41:09 UTC 2008

"Chyron" is a broadcasting term for an onscreen graphic, pictures and text
that are overlaid on top of the video feed. It's usually used as a noun, as
in "do we have a chyron for this segment?"

The term comes from the name of a company that makes hardware and software
for generating on-screen graphics, www.chyron.com.

I'm sure Mike and Mike are intimately familiar with the term. They may have
used "fonted" because they recognized the audience would probably not
understand "chyroned," which is hardcore industry jargon.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Laurence Horn
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: "fonted" = 'identified on screen'?

At 10:54 AM -0400 5/20/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>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.

Not for those (like Mike, Mike, and me) who are--or were--unfamiliar
with the term, in either nominal or participial form...

>And indeed there are a handful of relevant
>Googlehits for "chyroned as".
>--Ben Zimmer
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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

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