If we don’t wish to change the base font, then why are we having this discussion? The choice of base font has fallen to us. Why any font family? Because we are setting the base. What we choose as that base is our choice, according to our design parameters. I used “Helvetica” for Apple devices, “Arial” for Windows devices, and
sans-serif as the default for all other devices that don’t recognize either. This is the standard way of writing for browser compatibility.
The order is important. Start with the font that is least likely to be supported, and go from there to the next… and down to the one that all will support,
sans-serif, given that these fonts are members of that generic font family.
I am so far removed from setting anything on my computer that it’s all an uncertainty for me, but, the typical system should allow the user to set which font to assign as the default generic font-family.
serif: "Times New Roman", "Times"
sans-serif: "Arial", "Helvetica"
mono-space: "Courier New"
cursive: "Comic Sans MS",
When we write the generic family at the end of our chosen fonts list, it will come from that list.