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  • Merriam Webster accepts both variations.
  • For press releases, use no diacritical mark.
  • In all other instances, include the diacritical mark.


  • Treat groups as singular units; therefore “faculty” takes singular verbs and pronouns <The faculty is having its art show next week.>. (AP)

fax (noun and verb)

  • Lowercase and use instead of facsimile. (AP)


  • Lowercase when this name is not part of the complete name of a fellowship <He worked on several projects as a post-doctoral fellow.>.
  • See also academic titles.

fellowships, named

  • Always capitalize regardless of where the title appears in relation to the name, or whether a name is mentioned at all <She received the American Association of University Women Fellowship.>.
  • See also academic titles.

festival titles

  • Capitalize and do not enclose in quotes.
  • Only capitalize “festival” if it is part of the complete name. (AP; not in book, but observed use in AP-published articles)


  • General rule is to use “fewer” for individual, countable nouns, “less” for non-countable nouns <We had fewer concerts last year than this year. Admission is less than $45.>. (AP)

fiscal year

  • Use “fiscal year” when a year does not directly follow the phrase.
  • Use “FY” when the abbreviation precedes a year.
  • “Fiscal” should not appear without “year” <They modeled last year’s budget after that of FY 2006.>.  [AP style and CMS accept “fiscal year,” “fiscal” and “FY,” as long as the chosen option is used consistently.]

Flourish Award

  • Note capitalization of “award.”


  • Note spacing and capitalization.

foreign words/phrases

  • Those that are universally accepted in the English language, such as “versus” and “bona fide,” are set in roman type without quotation marks and without explanation or definition.
  • Those that are not widely known are enclosed in quotation marks and accompanied by an explanation of the word or phrase <In Montepulciano, arts students experienced “dolce vita,” an Italian phrase meaning “the sweet life,” painting, learning, traveling and experiencing the culture.>. (AP)

forthcoming works

  • When works contracted to be published are listed, “forthcoming,” or an equivalent, must appear within the sentence or in parenthetical reference to the work <The book, forthcoming in 2010, will be used in freshmen learning communities.>. (CMS)

Fourth of July

  • Capitalize and use when referring to Independence Day.
  • July Fourth is also acceptable. (AP)

Fred Bentley, Sr., Rare Book Gallery: complete name of the rare book gallery in Sturgis Library.

  • Use complete name upon first reference; subsequent reference is the “rare book gallery.”

Friends of the Arts: program recognizing COTA donors.

  • Capitalize when referring to the program; lowercase when using as a general phrase.

fundraiser, fundraising

  • AP style does not treat “fund raiser” as a compound word; however, COTA style does.

FY: appropriate abbreviation for “fiscal year.”

  • COTA style is to only use this abbreviation when it precedes a year <They modeled last fiscal year’s budget after that of FY 2006.>. (CMS 15.76)
  • See fiscal year.

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