• Capitalize. One word, no hyphen. Click here for Social Media Guidelines.

face to face

  • But face-to-face confrontation.

fact-check (n.) (v.)

fact-finding (adj.)


  • Faculty members is preferred to faculty.


    • Correct: Faculty members are happy with the new policy.
    • Not preferred: The faculty is happy with the new policy.

faculty senate

  • Use University Senate instead.

fallout (n.)


  • Abbreviation for frequently asked questions.

farther, further

  • Farther refers to linear or physical distance: He ran farther than the rest.
  • Further refers to extent or degree: She wants to further her academic studies.



  • Use female as an adjective, not woman.


    • Incorrect: She is the first woman president.
    • Correct: She is the first female president.

fewer, less

  • In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity.
    Incorrect: The trend is toward more computers and less people. 
    Incorrect: She was fewer than 40 years old.
    Correct: Fewer than 10 applicants called (individuals).
    Correct: I had less than EGP 100 in my wallet (an amount). But: I had fewer than 25 papers in my file (individual items).


  • See composition titles.

filmgoer, filmmaker

first class, first-class

  • Hyphenate as a modifier before a noun. The restaurant was first class. It was a first-class restaurant.

first come, first served

  • Separate by commas. Hyphenate as a compound modifier: first-come, first-served basis.

first degree, first-degree

  • Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: It was murder in the first degree. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

firsthand (adj. and adv.)

  • One word.

First Lady

  • Capitalize when used before the name of a chief of state’s wife.

first names

  • Use only on first reference, coupled with last name: Edward Smith is a construction engineering professor at AUC.
  • Use only the last name on second reference: Smith specializes in the field of environmental engineering.

first quarter, first-quarter

  • Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He traveled in the first quarter. His hard work was reflected in his first-quarter grades.

First Year Program

  • No hyphen.

fiscal year

  • Spell out fiscal year in documents for an external audience.
  • Do not capitalize: fiscal year 2011.
  • FY may be used in financial tables and lists.

flagpole, flagship

flair, flare

  • flair: talent or style. flare: flame (n.) blaze into light or burst into or anger (v.).

flare up (v.) flare-up (n.)


  • No hyphen: threefold.


  • Can be used as a noun, verb or adjective: She has a large following on Twitter (n.). He is following his conscience (v.). The following courses are required (adj.). 

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

  • Use two words (no hyphen) in verb form: We will follow up on the plan. This is a follow-up strategy. This procedure is a follow-up.

forbid, forbade, forbidding


  • Generally, no hyphen: forefather, foregoing, forebear, forefoot.

forego, forgo

  • To forego means to go before; to forgo means to abstain from.

foreign students

  • Do not use foreign students; use international students. There was a significant rise in the number of international students who enrolled at AUC this fall compared to last fall.

foreign words

  • Some foreign words have been universally accepted into the English language: bon voyage, alma mater, cum laude, versus. Use without explanation, and do not italicize.
  • Many foreign words and their abbreviations are not understood universally and may be used in special cases, such as medical or legal terminology. If such words must be used, italicize, and provide an explanation.


  • Always lowercase. But retain capitalization for a formal title used immediately before a name: former Professor John Smith

forms, certificates, documents

  • Terms that are descriptive, such as admission application and course withdrawal form, should not be capitalized.
  • Capitalize the full, formal title of documents and certificates. Do not italicize or put in quotation marks: Individual Study Form, Repeat Policy Form, Transcript Request Form, Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships, International Advertising Association Diploma.


  • Use two weeks instead.


  • Not forwards.


  • Spell out amounts less than 1 in stories, using hyphens between the words: two-thirds, four-fifths, seven-sixteenths, etc.

free-for-all (n. and adj.)

freelance (v. and adj.), freelancer (n.)

freshman (sing.), freshmen (plural)

  • Freshman class, not freshmen class.
  • Do not use first-year student.
  • See classification, student.

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


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

  • Front page refers to the entry point of a website.
  • Do not confuse with home page, which refers to the default page on one’s browser or somebody’s personal website.


fulfill, fulfilled, fulfilling


  • Hyphenate when used to form compound modifiers: full-fledged program.

full time (n.), full-time (adj.)

  • Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier: He works full time. She is a full-time employee.

fundraiser (n.), fundraising (n. and adj.)

  • Fundraise is one word with no hyphen.
  • Follow the examples:
    • He is a capable fundraiser.
    • The fundraising committee is drafting its plan for the next year.
    • Fundraising is not an easy task.