That language is standardized, as indicated in the Wikipedia article Khaled linked to.
Incidentally, we included this character in Miller Text when it was expanded a few years ago, since Matthew had already drawn it at the special request of someone (possibly Will Powers?). I’ve taken to including it in my own designs now also, given my target market.
Well, any foundry-metal type cast at text sizes would almost certainly have been put up in fonts with more like 40–50a in quantity, not 20 (which would have been way too limiting).
But your point is still well taken. Depending upon how many pages on a form, and to what extent a shop needed to hold the galleys or could produce electros and redistribute for re-use, etc., a single font would likely not be enough for serious use.
It was a whole different market dynamic when type was a physical product that wore out.
Still, sets of hot-metal matrices were sold as “fonts” as well, and did not have the same limitations.
The use of the term “foundry” may have waxed and waned, but “font” has been pretty consistently used to describe the basic practical, usable, and transactional form of a typeface, even as that form has evolved.
Although f-stop can be correctly indicated with just an italic f, the fact of the matter is that very frequently in the digital age the florin/hooked-f ƒ is now used. Pretty much ever since the Mac keyboard made it convenient with option-f, I think.
I think most webfonts would work perfectly well for screen with a low UPM like 256.
I think most (if not all) of Font Bureau’s RE fonts are on 512 upem, using similar reasoning. I believe that this approach grew out of David Berlow’s experience creating the Prelude fonts for Palm. He figured in that case that even a single glyph enlarged to the full size of the device would hardly reach a pixel resolution that benefited from more unit resolution (or file size).