Confusing words

Confusing words: F

I recently spotted a job ad for someone with a flare for graphic design. The company might also want to hire someone with a flair for spelling.

  • Flair means a special aptitude, or stylishness and originality.
  • Flare (noun or verb) usually refers to a brief burst of bright flame or light, or a sudden burst of intense emotion. It can also describe a garment that gets wider towards one end – like flared trousers, a fashion that comes and goes. Some of us may remember that style as being hugely popular in the early days of the Swedish pop group Abba.

You can read about the difference between flare and flair and a whole lot more, in the Clifford & Co editorial style guide.