Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing Wednesday: Flair vs. flare

I took this picture of my niece Isabel months ago, but I thought it was perfect for this week's Writing Wednesday post.

Since I buy quite a few of my accessories and clothes online from daily deal sites, I've been seeing a trend lately that really steams my clams (can you name that movie?): the misuse of the words flair and flare.

I think people often confuse the words because flare can be a noun, adjective and a verb. Here are some examples:

  • Lindsay's temper flared when she saw her new blanket trampled on the floor.
  • Flare jeans flatter very few figures.
  • The survivors shot off an emergency flare when they saw a plane overhead.

Flair, on the other hand, is used to describe an aptitude for something or a remarkable style. It can also refer to the metal buttons you pin on your backpack (or vest, if you're living in 1998). Here are some examples of using flair properly:

  • You certainly have a flair for the dramatic.
  • Wanda dresses with flair and pizzazz.
  • Isabel has a flair all her own — especially in a flared princess dress.

Do you see these words misused? How do you remember the difference?


  1. What about bootcut jeans? Do they flatter? Or is it boot cut. I guess they are uncool, since I couldn't find one pair on the Levi's site. Ha Ha.

  2. Her flare gun had a lot of flair as it was covered in flairiful daisies.

    Okay, flairiful isn't a word, bu you get what I mean.

  3. i had no idea that people misused those, but nothing surprises me when it comes to grammar/spelling/usage. On a friend's IG, she reposted a pic where the guy's caption was "running aarons." AARONS!!!

  4. I think that in our society today, we're so focused on getting words out quickly that shortening them and using acronyms and misspelling things has become a norm. People tend not appreciate grammar for the refined art it has become (when it used to be a daily norm). Whats the wurld comin' too?

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  5. I just know the difference automatically so I never really have to remember. I haven't seen flare/flair misused but it wouldn't surprise me. Fashion blogs and websites seem to be notorious for abusing grammar.

  6. Your niece is beautiful, Lindsay. What a nice outfit she had :) xx


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.