Use this word only if you are referring to the singular, collective body of teachers at a school:

The students are high achievers, and the faculty is known for excellent teaching.

When you are referring to individual teachers (singly or in a group), use the more personal faculty member or faculty members.

She is the faculty member most popular with students.
Students and faculty members served on the committee.

> See also: ratio | collective nouns

farther, further

Farther denotes physical distance; further denotes an extension of time or degree.

We must not go any farther into the woods until we have further considered our strategy.


No initial cap unless the word is part of a proper name.

The federal guidelines are very clear. We sent the package via Federal Express. The US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.


> See: less


When you're conveying information in order of importance, and you want to alert your reader to this strategy, use first, second, third.
NOT firstly, secondly, thirdly

See also: important

first-class (adj.), first class (noun, adverb)

We stayed in a first-class hotel.
He pronounced the accommodations first class.

firsthand (adj.)

One word, no hyphen.

first-year student

This phrase applies to students pursuing an initial year of study in an Emory undergraduate program and replaces the gender-specific freshman. This is the preferred designation at Emory.

forego, forgo

To forego means go before, precede.

To forgo means to abstain from.

foreign words

Non-English words appearing in the main section of an American dictionary (and not in an appendix on foreign words and phrases) are considered assimilated.

nuit blanche
tout ensemble
mal de siècle

fait accompli
a cappella

Although the dictionary vacillates on the question of diacritical marks for certain words, we believe a cleaner style is more fitting:

cafe, resume, cliche, facade

> See also: accents | diacritical marks

If you're quoting a foreign phrase, put it in italics and include the appropriate diacritical marks.

If you're mentioning the name of a foreign place or person, include diacritical marks but skip the italics.


In nonscientific, running copy, spell out all fractions.

Less than one-third of the class failed the exam.

Use numerals for fractions with whole numbers.

Windows to classroom doors should start at 42 1/2 inches from the floor and extend to at least 61 1/2 inches above the floor. 

When typing fractions, leave a space between the whole number and the fraction, as in 8 1⁄2.


One word, no hyphen.


Always takes an initial cap, as in a Fulbright grant.

full-time, full time (also part-time, part time)

(adj.) She has a full-time job.
(adv. phrase) She works full time.

fundraiser (noun), fundraising (noun), fundraising (adj.)

Webster's does not hyphenate the noun or adjective forms.

Her success as a fundraiser was unequaled.
Fundraising is at a record high.
Our fundraising success exceeds our wildest dreams.

> See also: compound words


> See: farther, further