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FAA. See Federal Aviation Administration.

Facebook. One word; capitalize only the first letter.

facilitate. Consider replacing with simpler ease, make easier or help.

facility. Unless this word is part of a proper name, avoid using it when possible, especially as a bureaucratic euphemism for building. Be more specific by naming or describing individual facilities, such as base, building, laboratory, office, plant, warehouse: The council appointed her director of the new jail [not facility].

facsimile, fax. As a noun, verb or adjective, fax may be used in all references, including first. Don't capitalize as FAX; the word fax is neither an acronym nor a proper noun. See reproduce, telephone numbers.

fact. Use this word only if a statement can be verified as accurate, true or correct, not for matters of judgment. Also, a true fact is redundant; drop true.

When possible, avoid using the phrase the fact that. Omit needless words: since or because, not because of the fact that; though or although, not despite the fact that; remind you or tell you, not call your attention to the fact that; we were unaware that (or did not know that) instead of we were unaware of the fact that; her success instead of the fact that she had succeeded; and our arrival, not the fact that we had arrived.

fact-finding (adj.).

factor. Hackneyed. Instead, use part, fact, aspect, feature, condition or circumstances. Or be specific and name the specific factor.

Fahrenheit. In texts, on first reference use numerals and spell out degrees. Also, spell out and capitalize Fahrenheit: The mercury hit 86 degrees Fahrenheit. On later reference if the context is clear, the degrees may be dropped and the abbreviation for Fahrenheit used: The mercury hit 86 F yesterday (space before and no period after the F). See temperatures.

fairly. Vague adverb. Consider omitting or be more precise.

family. See collective nouns.

family, genus, species. In scientific or biological names for plants or animals, capitalize the broad Latin family name and generic Latin genus name. But lowercase the specific species name: Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex. See fish, species.

FAQ. Abbreviation for plural frequently asked questions; it doesn't end with a redundant s. Except in headings, spell it out on first reference;FAQ is fine for later references. If referring to more than one FAQ document, use FAQ pages, FAQ listings, FAQ documents, etc.

farebox. One word.

far-ranging (adj.).

farther, further. Often misused or confused. Farther implies measurable physical distance: The plant was farther away than they thought. As an adjective, further implies time, degree, amount or quantity: She had further news. As a verb, further means to advance: He worked to further his career. Memory aide: The far in farther refers to physical distance.

Father's Day.

fats. See collective nouns.

fax. See facsimile, fax.

feasible. Means capable of being accomplished or capable of being used or handled to good effect. Use less ambiguous possible or probable to mean reasonable or likely.

fecal coliform bacteria.

federal. Use a capital letter for corporate or governmental bodies that include the word as part of their formal names: Federal Express, the Federal Trade Commission.

Lowercase when used as an adjective: federal assistance, federal government, federal judge.

Always lowercase the phrase federal courts. Use the proper name of the court on first reference.

Federal Aviation Administration. FAA is acceptable on second reference.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is acceptable on second reference.

Federal Highway Administration. If necessary, abbreviate on second reference as FHWA. Don't abbreviate as FHA, typically considered the abbreviation for Federal Housing Administration.

feedback. Jargon. Try rephrasing with advise, comments, response or opinions.

female. See sex, sexism.

ferryboat. One word. Ferry is acceptable as both a noun and a verb. Plural is ferries.

fewer, less. Fewer (or few) emphasizes number, and less emphasizes degree or quantity. Use fewer for plural nouns and individual items that can be counted, less for singular nouns and a bulk, amount, sum, period of time or concept that is measured in other ways: Fewer than 10 applicants called. I had less than $50 in my pocket. Fewer dollars, less money. Less food, fewer calories. See less than, under.

file name acronyms. Capitalize the acronym for computer file name extensions when used in text; lowercase the acronym when part of a complete document name. Examples: GIF, flowchart.gif; JPG or JPEG, countyexec.jpg or countyexec.jpeg; PDF, newsletter.pdf; DOC, report.doc; HTM or HTML, index.htm or index.html. The acronym is acceptable on first use if the context is clear; spell it out or explain if it's not: Word document instead of DOC. See Internet.

finalize. Often misused. Use only to mean "make final" or "put into final form." Otherwise, replace with finish, end or complete, depending on your point. Change: I will finalize the report. To: I will finish the report. See complete.

first-. Include a hyphen when used as a part of a compound adjective modifying a noun: first-line supervisor, first-degree murder, first-quarter touchdown, first-class service. Otherwise, use two words: first line of defense, murder in the first degree, scored in the first quarter, service that's first class..

first-come, first-served. Use hyphens when used as a modifier before a noun: a first-come, first-served policy. But don't include hyphens after a verb: The policy was first come, first served. Note the comma have come and the letter d in served.

firsthand. One word.

first names. See names.

fiscal, monetary. Fiscal applies to budgetary matters. Monetary applies to money supply.

fiscal year. The 12-month period that a governmental body or corporation uses for bookkeeping. Spell out phrases like the 1999 fiscal year on first reference. For later references, use fiscal 1999, not fiscal year 1999. Don't capitalize. Avoid FY 1999.

fish. Lowercase the common names of all fish species, such as coho, silver, blackmouth and spring. Do not capitalize salmon or trout when used either alone or with the species name (such as bull trout). If part of the species common name is a proper noun (such as Chinook, named for the Chinook Indians), capitalize that word: Chinook salmon. For scientific names, see family, genus, species; species.

flammable, inflammable. Both mean combustible, but use less ambiguous flammable. Use nonflammable to mean will not burn.

flextime. Lowercase, one word, no hyphen.

flier, Flyer. Use flier to mean a bulletin, handbill or aviator: King County distributed fliers about the public meeting. Flyer is a proper name of some buses and trains. Also see freeway station.

flood. If describing how high the water is in a flood and where it is expected to crest, provide some information for comparison. List the flood stage and how high the water is above or below flood stage: Road Services expects the river to crest at 20 feet, six feet above flood stage.

flood plain. Two words.

floodwaters. One word.

floppy disk. Use diskette.

Flyer. See flier, Flyer, freeway station.

fluorescent. Commonly misspelled.

following. Usually a noun, verb or adjective: She has a large following. He is following his conscience. The committee is considering the following projects. Also, after is preferred as a preposition: He spoke after dinner. Not: He spoke following dinner.

follow up (v.), follow-up (n. and adj.).

fonts. See type fonts.

foodborne (adj.). One word.

foot. Use figures and spell out in texts: She jumped 5 feet. Hyphenate if used as a compound adjective: The 4-foot box is heavy. Foot or feet may be abbreviated to ft. in charts and tables. See dimensions.

footnotes, endnotes. Footnotes go at the foot, or bottom, of pages; endnotes go at the end of chapters, articles and books. Avoid using them except for bibliographic references or citations. They interrupt reading by forcing readers to look somewhere else on a page or on another page for the information they contain. Instead, try putting the information in parentheses within the text. If you must use them, consider footnotes first. See bibliographies and notes; composition titles.

forecast. Use forecast also for the past tense, not forecasted.

foreign, international. Use foreign to describe foreign cars, cities, governments, languages, markets, money, names, products, trade, words and other foreign people, places and things (not in or from the United States). Foreign-made (or imported) and foreign-born are acceptable adjectives. Use international when writing about activities, groups, operations, people and relations involving more than one country.

Also, don't define or italicize foreign words and phrases that are commonly used in English and listed in English dictionaries: bon voyage, versus. Avoid using unfamiliar foreign words and phrases. Replace them with an English alternative -- or define, explain or translate them when using them. Italicize an unfamiliar foreign word or term the first time it's used, and put complete translations in quotation marks.

foreword, forward. Commonly confused and misspelled. Foreword is an introductory statement at the beginning of a book or other work. Forward means "at or toward the front" or describes movement toward a point in time or space.

former. Always lowercase. But capitalize an official title used immediately before a name: former County Executive Gary Locke.

formulate. Overstated. Simplify. Replace with work out, devise or form.

for the reason that. Overstated and wordy. Simplify. Replace with because.

forward. Not forwards. See foreword, forward above.

for your information. Consider dropping this overused phrase or replace it with something more original.

fractions. Spell out amounts less than one in stories, and hyphenate between the words: one-third, three-fourths. Use numerals for specific amounts larger than one: 5 2/3, 59 5/8. Whenever practical, convert fractions to decimals: 5.5, 43.5, 8.25.

If using a whole number with a fraction, do not hyphenate: 4 3/8, 15 ½.

Avoid numerals separated by a slash--5 1/2--when the typeface contains case fractions as special characters, such as ½. The fractions 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 are usually available as special characters in word-processing and desktop-publishing programs.

With phrases like three-fourths of X, the verb agrees with X: Three-fourths of the project is done. Three-fourths of the visitors are from Andorra.

In charts and tables, always use numerals. Convert to decimals if the amounts involve extensive use of fractions. See decimals.

free. Free is an adjective that means "for nothing." Using for free is redundant; drop for. Also redundant is free gift; drop one word or the other.

freelance (v. and adj.). The noun: freelancer.

freeway station Freeway station (or freeway stop) is preferred: Houghton Freeway Station, the freeway station. To avoid reader confusion, don't use the outdated term Flyer stop or flier stop. For limited space in maps and charts, freeway may be abbtreviated as frwy. See flier, Flyer; park-and-ride lot.

frequently asked questions. See FAQ.

from ... to. See between ... and, from ... to; time.

front line (n.), front-line (adj.).

FTE. See full-time equivalent.

fulfill, fulfilled, fulfilling. Commonly misspelled. One l in the middle of fulfill, two at the end.

full-. Hyphenate when used to form compound modifiers: A full-length film. A full-scale attack.

full-time equivalent. Refers to a full-time employment position. Spell out on first reference. FTE is acceptable on second reference.

full time, full-time. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He works full time. She has a full-time job.

fund. Lowercase as a common noun when referring generally to sums of money set aside for specific purposes: fund, the general fund, the current expense fund, the county's general fund, the departmental current expense fund. When mentioning a specific, unique fund that's identified in budget documents, county ordinances and so on, capitalize the proper name: the 2004 King County Current Expense Fund, the King County General Fund for 2004, the county's 2004 General Fund. Lowercase later references to generic parts of the name.

fundamental. Consider dropping or replacing with simpler basic.

fundraising, fundraiser. One word; no hyphen or space. Fundraising for charity is a good cause. The committee planned the annual fundraising campaign. The division sponsored a fundraiser.

further. See farther, further.

future plans. Redundant. Simplify. Drop future. See advance planning.

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