Font "doesn't" refer to font family

I am taking the CSS course. As I was on the chapter CSS Visual rules I came across the following statement:

Font refers to the technical term typeface, or font family .

As a Graphic designer my understanding is that a font refers to a specific point size in a specific typeface. Technically speaking typeface refers to the the font-family and not a “font”. For example: Helvetica would be the “typeface” whereas 16pt Helvetica Bold would be deemed as a “font”.

At least this is what I have picked up from design books like Elements of Typographic Style, Grid Systems, etc. Here is an article by Fast Company talking about the same difference. Typographic history suggests this difference. As much as I respect the terminology in web technologies. But I guess this is where my mind starts to conflict as a designer aspiring to learn development.

Would love to understand how should we best balance this conflict?

I think you’re dwelling on a semantic point which ultimately doesn’t really have much bearing on the material.

The course is intended to be accessible to a broad range of backgrounds and abilities and to many people, who may lack professional experience as a graphic designer such as you do or otherwise may not have received formal education around the matter, the term “font” may very well be how they refer to a typeface.

It’s much the same as someone not well versed in the technicalities referring to Chrome as “the Internet”…

The actual body of the lesson introduces the CSS properties as you are expecting to find them - font-family for declaring typeface, specifically.

There is a specific font property in CSS, which again works as you’re expecting it - it declares numerous individual properties in one go (see the docs).

On a more general note, though, the “balance” here will most probably boil down to you’ll simply have to learn how it works in a web context. Kinda like how I have to remember to misspell (from my perspective) certain words, like “center”…

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Got it. Makes sense. Thanks for the clarification @thepitycoder