from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a system adopted by the type founders of the United States by which the various sizes of type have been so modified and changed that each size bears an exact proportional relation to every other size. The system is a modification of a French system, and is based on the pica body. This pica body is divided into twelfths, which are termed “points,” and every type body consist of a given number of these points. Many of the type founders indicate the new sizes of type by the number of points, and the old names are gradually being done away with. By the point system type founders cast type of a uniform size and height, whereas formerly fonts of pica or other type made by different founders would often vary slightly so that they could not be used together. There are no type in actual use corresponding to the smaller theoretical sizes of the point system. In some cases, as in that of ruby, the term used designates a different size from that heretofore so called.
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