Some names imply a mood or genre. “Harlow” implies glamor. “Asylum,” “Trashco” and “You Murderer” do not. Typefaces named “Goofball” or “Comic” are probably not suitable for the annual report of an insurance company. Strangely, “Grotesk” type actually looks nice.
Some typeface names are humorous — even if they were not intended to be so — like “Zapf,” “Friz Quadrata,” “Bodoni Bold” and “Harry Heavy.”
Sometimes “font” is used for a very specific typeface description like “24 point Century Gothic bold italic.”
Millions of people who probably never thought much about "typefaces" have to make daily decisions about "fonts" because of the ubiquity of computers, e-readers and tablets. “Font” takes up less space than “typeface,” and spatial efficiency is important on a small screen.
[below] Lots of software, including Microsoft Word and CorelDraw call typefaces “fonts.” It’s probably an irreversible trend. Adobe sometimes uses “font” to mean “typeface,” but also explains the difference between the terms.
[above] The farther a letterform evolves from its traditional shape, the more likely it is to be unrecognizable, or confused with another letter.