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BEST GUIDE TO WRITING STYLE

F
facade face facility faction factoid factious factitious fact that faience faint famous farrago farther fascia fast forward fast and furious fatwa fazed feasible fed up with feint fellahin female no cedilla a problem, not face up to is not an acceptable alternative to greater precision in stating whether it is a factory, research laboratory, office etc is a group, generally a dissenting portion of a larger organisation; do not use to describe a mixture of fact and fiction is a word coined by Normal Mailer to mean a questionable statement repeated often enough to be thought true; it is sometimes mistakenly used to mean a trivial fact; since its meaning is not generally known best avoid it is an adjective from faction, and so means promoting strife and division; not to be confused with factitious means bogus, artificial, unreal, sham phrases such as in spite of the fact that are superfluous - use something shorter as although, since, because is a sort of glazed pottery as an adjective means indistinct, light coloured, pale; as verb means to pass out; not to be confused with feint redundant adjective if someone is you obviously do not have to say so strictly speaking means a confused mixture, generally implying the result is mess or confusion; the plural is farragoes means greater distance, further implies additional (degree, time, quantity), or a series or sequence of moves; the distinction has been gradually eroded and even the crustier pedants have given up trying to preserve farther not facia is a cliche rage does not always accompany speed; this is a wordy cliche, avoid it is an Islamic edict or judgment and not invariably a death sentence an American expressions for disturbed, discomposed or overwhelmed and is not to be confused with phased which means in stages means something that can be done and is not therefore a synonym for plausible or possible or probable not fed up of a misleading movement as when a rugby player makes as if to pass the ball to throw an approaching opponent onto the wrong foot; it can also mean lightly or faintly printed as in feint-ruled writing paper is plural, singular is fellah versions of occupations seem patronising or, what is worse, clumsy. They should therefore be generally avoided (eg poetess, sculptress). The male version is preferable as a generic label. Also avoid jewess and negress. BUT the exceptions are duchess, princess, marchioness etc, abbess, actress, comedienne and waitress. fetus few and far between fewer foetus is preferred few is quite enough applies to number and is usually used in association with plural nouns, less to size and is generally used with nouns in the singular: there were fewer horses in the Derby than last year, there was less salt in the stew. Confusion can arise with money or distance, which for this purpose, are construed to be a pile of undistinguishable currency or spaces, on the analogy with say sugar rather than individual pounds or miles, so it is right to say the price was 20,000 less than expected, he lived less than 50 miles from Reading. fiasco, fiascos Fibreglass field marshal figures Filipino fine-tooth comb Finnegans Wake Filofax firm is a trade name; use personal organiser is a partnership, as opposed to an incorporated company see entry for numbers (one p), someone from the Philippines (two p) is a trade name and so needs an initial capital

Copyright 2012- BecketsBest- Best Guide to Writing Style

first first and foremost firstly first past the post fiscal fix flair flak flammable flaunt fledgling Fleet Street flotsam flout focaccia focused, focusing foetus following forbearing forecast forego foreign words

with words like invented, introduced, created, revealed and so on, first is generally superfluous unless there is an explicit need to draw the readers attention to, say, the government having announced a measure several times one of them will do is the obvious one at the beginning of an itemised list, so ignore perplexing arguments in favour of first is a misleading image for a voting system giving power to the largest group; if you must use a clich, winner takes all is preferable refers to public revenue, and hence taxes; so the fiscal year, which eccentrically starts on 6 April in Britain and 1 October in the United States, is the tax year of accounting by government means to secure (as in fix the leg to a table) so as a synonym for repair can lead to paradoxical expressions implying a fault is being made permanent is talent, flare is an illuminator note, no c; it is the contraction of the German Fliegenabwehrkanone which means anti-aircraft gun and is used to denote opposition or attack; flack is American slang for a publicity person rather than inflammable - it is shorter and means the same thing; use non-flammable for things that will not burn is to display something ostentatiously or defiantly; flout means to disregard, treat with contempt or ignore (especially regulations) is hard to justify as a synonym for the newspaper world as there is hardly a journalist left there is wreckage of a boat or its cargo floating on the sea; jetsam is material jettisoned from a ship and then washed ashore; either sort of material at the bottom of the sea is called lagan see the entry for flaunt is a type of Italian bread

as a preposition, after is better, so after a ministers speech rather than following a ministers speech means patient, forgiving, doing without; forebears are ancestors past tense forecast means to go before; forgo means to do without should be avoided unless there is no English equivalent. English is a rich language and has a wide range of picturesque expressions, many of them imported centuries ago from a wide range of other languages, but since then naturalised into part of the language. On the whole it looks less pretentious and indicates a better command of English to use a more thoroughly naturalised expression. If a non-assimilated word or phrase really is necessary, it should be in italics. So ibid, ad hoc, prima facie, status quo, machismo, putsch and pogrom should not be italicised. If used in quotation, a translation may often be useful. See also entry for chutzpah for titles and forms of address, see entry under titles

forensic foresee for ever for free forgo former

= legal, relating to a court of law so lawyers are forensic experts; the specialist assessing physical evidence should be described as forensic scientists and so on is best used when meaning to eternity and forever when the intention is to mean continually say free, or for nothing means to give up or go without, forego is to go before refers to the first of two things as latter means the second, so they cannot be used when more objects are involved; but they smack of legal documents and force readers to check back for the reference so use them seldom and only when the references are close enough to be obvious

Formica fortuitous four-wheel drive fractions franchisor/franchisee

is a trade name and hence needs an initial capital means accidental, happening by chance; it does not mean lucky; fortunate means lucky rather than 4x4 for the effect on verbs see entry for plurals the former is the one who invented the format and licences the latter to use it and the name, but since readers are also likely to be confused (as with mortgagor/mortgagee) it is better to find an alternative description, such as system organiser and outlet operator, or something of that sort

francophone Frankenstein

meaning French-speaking; note lower case was the man who created the monster, not the monster itself which had no name

Copyright 2012- BecketsBest- Best Guide to Writing Style

free french fries fresco freudian slip Frisbee frying pan Fujiyama fullness full points

or for nothing, but never for free say chips instead plural frescoes is trade marked not fry pan or frypan means Mount Fuji so Mount Fujiyama is a tautology are not needed for commonly-used all-capital abbreviations: BBC, RAF, HMSO, TUC, VAT, CBI, GCSE, TV, UK, USA, rpm, mpg, plc, ie, eg; nor for common contractions: Mr, Mrs, St (for Saint), Dr, Ltd, cf, viz when a complete sentence is within quotation marks, the full stop goes inside the quotation mark; when part of the sentence falls outside the quotation marks, so does the full stop.

fulsome Fujiyama fundamentalist further furore future

means cloying, offensively overdone and excessive, not copious, lavish, generously-proportioned, or profuse; it is definitely pejorative or Mount Fuji, but not Mount Fujiyama generally used of someone believing the literal truth of a religious book such as the Bible or Koran; the term is associated with violent dogmatism so should be used judiciously see entry under farther is not needed with words such as prospects, and generally not with plans unless one is intentionally distinguishing them from plans made in the past

Copyright 2012- BecketsBest- Best Guide to Writing Style

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