Flair vs. Flare

by Heather

Lexical Vexations

flare n. 1. a sudden, bright light; 2. a sudden outburst.

flair n. talent, stylishness.

Words in the Wild: Something of a loose cannon, Justin had a flair for the melodramatic, and at the slightest provocation his temper would flare.

This lexical vexation cropped up at work today, and not for the first or last time, so I thought I’d share it with you here. I often see the word flare used where flair ought to be, but rarely the reverse. I sometimes wonder if the Canadian fashion magazine Flare has contributed to the confusion around these two terms, but, since most of our authors hail from the U.S. or the U.K., I think Flare is off the hook this time.

Still vexed? You can find a complete list of the Word Blog’s lexical vexations here.

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