Online style guide

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Facebook Link to this term
fahrenheit Link to this term
fall out, fallout, falling out Link to this term

Don't fall out of that boat, we can expect some fallout from last night's interview, and the brothers have had a falling out over their father's will.

families Link to this term

The Rhineharts, the Obamas, the Smiths ... no apostrophes please. The Rhineharts' family feud, the Obamas' dog, the Smiths' house ... apostrophe after the S for possessives.

far east, near east Link to this term

but Middle East

Far North Queensland Link to this term

all capitalised

fare, fair Link to this term

How are you faring? Fine. I'm off to the fair.

fascinated by Link to this term

fascinated by the goings-on next door ... fascinated by her smile ... the general public are fascinated by disasters (not with)

faze Link to this term

nothing fazed her. But she was going through a difficult phase

federal Link to this term

lower case when not part of an official title. So it's 'at state and federal levels...' or 'that's funded by the federal government'.

Federal Court Link to this term

is capitalised, as in 'full bench (lower case) of the Federal Court

fell swoop Link to this term

one fell swoop

fetid or foetid Link to this term

stinking

fetus Link to this term

a listener has kindly pointed out that 'foetus' is not the correct spelling according to the British Medical Association. That's good enough for us.

fewer, less Link to this term

fewer people cook at home now they have less time to spend in the kitchen. Fewer than 8 items at this checkout, so we get less congestion in the queue. If you can count individuals, it's fewer; if it's a smaller mass of something, it's less.

Tags: 
fiance (m), fiancee (f) Link to this term

but divorcee for both male and female

Fibro Link to this term

trademark, so capitalise

fiery Link to this term

a fiery discussion, etc

film titles Link to this term

should be italicised

film-maker or filmmaker Link to this term
first and foremost Link to this term
first lady Link to this term

France's first lady, America's first lady, not 'French first lady' or 'American first lady',

first world war Link to this term

cold war, Vietnam war, WWII and so on

firsthand, first hand Link to this term

a firsthand account ... I heard about it first hand

flak Link to this term
flammable, inflammable Link to this term

mean the same thing, not fireproof. Something that is fireproof is non-flammable.

flaunt, flout Link to this term

display, as in 'flaunt your wares' (flout is disregard, as in 'flout the rules')

Flickr Link to this term
flyer Link to this term

single-sheet advertising material

focus, focused, focuses, focusing Link to this term
foetid or fetid Link to this term

stinking

fogey Link to this term
fold (suffix) Link to this term

'The population increased sixfold over 200 years' means it was six times larger at the end of 200 years than it was at the beginning. It's a tautology to say 'increased by sixfold'. Manifold means having multiple parts, as in 'it has manifold uses.'

foot and mouth disease Link to this term
footy Link to this term
forbear Link to this term

to refrain. Your forebears are your ancestors.

forbid Link to this term

forbid someone to do something, not forbid 'from'. You might prevent someone from doing something, but the prepositions are not interchangeable.

foregone conclusion Link to this term
foreseen, unforeseen Link to this term
forestall, forestalment Link to this term
foreword Link to this term

comes at the front of a book, but we move forward

forgo Link to this term

do without. Forego means to go before

former singer with Link to this term

Judith Durham is a singer who once sang with The Seekers. She cannot be described as a 'former singer with The Seekers' because she is still a singer today.

former veteran Link to this term

'former Iraq veteran' doesn't make sense if you're describing someone still alive. To be a veteran of something means you have past experience which can never change, so 'former' is superfluous here. Likewise, an Olympic gold medallist can never be described as a 'former medallist' unless they've been stripped of their medal for some reason.

formerly Link to this term

before, at a previous time. Formally means in a formal manner.

formula, formulas Link to this term

not formulae

Frances, Francis Link to this term

Frances is normally the girl, Francis the boy

Fremantle Link to this term

A Western Australian port city south of Perth

french letter, french window, French language Link to this term
Frisbee Link to this term

trademark, so capitalise

from ... to Link to this term

'Everyone from trainers, bookies, bar staff and punters are feeling it...' doesn't make sense. If you have a 'from' you need a 'to'. Everyone from trainers and bookies to bar staff and punters ... And 'Everything from city design to modern art to the basic box...' doesn't make sense either. We need two points, from and to. So we can say 'Everything from city design and modern art to the basic box.' We want to throw the stone from one shore to the other, not skip it over the water.

Tags: 
fulsome Link to this term

excessive or cloying

fusillade Link to this term
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