F

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facade
no cedilla

factoid
not a trivial fact, but a mistaken assumption repeated so often that it is believed to be true (a word coined by Norman Mailer)

fahrenheit
use in brackets after celsius: 23C (73F), -3C (27F), etc

Fairtrade
The Fairtrade mark is a certification system run by the Fairtrade Foundation; products are entitled to be called Fairtrade (cap F) if they meet the following criteria: a price that covers producers' costs, a premium for producers to invest in their communities, and long-term and more direct trading relations

fairytale

family-size, fun-size
not family-sized, fun-sized

far, farther, farthest
of distances; otherwise further, furthest

far east
but east Asia or south-east Asia is preferable

fatality
use death

father of two
etc, not father-of-two

fed up with
not fed up of

fellow
lc, eg a fellow of All Souls

fellow artist, fellow members, etc: do not hyphenate

female
not 'woman' or 'women' in such phrases as female prime minister, female voters

fete
no accent

fewer/less
fewer means smaller in number, eg fewer coins; less means smaller in quantity, eg less money

fiance
(male), fiancee (female); but note divorcee is both male and female

figures
spell out from one to nine; integers from 10 to 999,999; thereafter 1m, 3.2bn (except for people and animals, eg 2 million viewers, 8 billion cattle)

filesharing

film-maker

Filofax
TM; use personal organiser unless you are sure

finalise, finalised
avoid; use complete, completed

financial years
2001-02, etc

fine-tooth comb

firefighter
not fireman

firm
strictly a partnership without limited liability, such as solicitors, but may be used to mean company in headlines

first
second, third spell out up to ninth, then 10th, 21st, millionth

firstly
prefer first, second, third, etc

first aid

first-hand

first name, forename
not Christian name

first world war

flak
not flack

flammable
rather than inflammable (although they mean the same thing); the negative is non-flammable

flash memory
computer memory that can be erased and reprogrammed, used for example in mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players


flaunt/flout
to flaunt is to make a display of something, as in flaunting wealth; to flout is to show disregard for something, as in flouting the seatbelt law

fledgling
not fledgeling

flexitime

flounder/founder
to flounder is to perform a task badly, like someone stuck in mud; to founder is to fail: a business might be foundering because its bosses are floundering

flyer
not flier

focus, focused, focusing

foetid
not fetid

foetus
not fetus

fogey
not fogy

following
prefer after, eg Mansfield Town went to pieces after their Cup exit

foot and mouth disease

for all its worth
but for what it's worth

forbear
abstain; forebear ancestor

foreign names
The French (or French origin) le or de, the Italian di and the Dutch van are all lc when the name is full out: eg Graeme le Saux, Nigel de Gruchy, Roberto di Matteo, Pierre van Hooijdonk;

foreign placenames
Style for foreign placenames evolves with common usage. Leghorn has become Livorno, and maybe one day München will supplant Munich, but not yet. And next time someone says we should call Burma "Myanmar" because that's what it calls itself, point out that Colonel Gadafy renamed Libya "The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya"

forensic
belonging to the courts; it does not mean scientific

forego
go before

forgo
go without

forever
continually: he is forever changing his mind

for ever
for always: I will love you for ever

formula
plural formulas, but formulae in scientific context

fortuitous
by chance, accidental; not by good fortune, lucky. A word that is almost always misused

fractions
two-thirds, three-quarters, etc but two and a half

fresco
plural frescoes

friendlily
curious adverb defined by the OED as 'in a friendly manner, like a friend'

Friends of the Earth
abbreviate to FoE after first mention

fulfil, fulfilling, fulfilment

fundraiser, fundraising
no hyphen



 
 

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