Is “family” synonymous with “group”? [closed]

Is using the term "family" strictly correct when we mean a group of the periodic table or is it just in general use (and should perhaps be discouraged in favour of using "group" exclusively)? At my highschool, other teachers refer to the transition metals as a family; is this a common practice?

• Not a bad question, but you'll get more than a few opinions here. This Wikipedia entry on "Group (periodic table)" will be of use to you. – Todd Minehardt Jan 30 at 15:54