Flair or Flare?

When referring to those little widgets like MyBlogLog that spruce up a page, do you say “flair” or “flare”? The first place I heard the term was Office Space, and they call it flair:

Peter: What are pieces of flair?

Joanna: That’s where you know, suspenders and buttons and all sorts of stuff. We’re, uh, we’re actually required to wear fifteen pieces of flair.

But then FeedBurner refers to their product to add widgets at the bottom of feeds as FeedFlare. Not to nitpick (alright, it’s a nitpick), but I think Feedburner picked the wrong flare. It should be FeedFlair, right? Okay, too much with the nitpicking. I’ll stop.

30 Responses to Flair or Flare? (Leave a comment)

  1. Yes, but Feedburner has that fire thing going on. They set off flares. But they do it with a great deal of flair.

  2. Andrew

    What’s wrong with nitpicking?? I will take any opportunity for a diversion from work today.

    FeedFlair would be correct.

    How about FeedPazazz? That is even naffer…

  3. You’re right. It should be “flair”. However, with a name like FeedBurner, “flair” wouldn’t fit. It’s not pyrotechnic enough. ;-)

    All hail the Awesome-Coolness-Hot-to-Trot-Feed-Flare. :-)

    *this message brought to you by the CSA (compulsively smiley anonymous)*

  4. Lucas

    Flair is roughly synonymous with pizazz, or panache.

    A flare is something that burns brightly.

    So little gadgets and stuff add flair, and FeedBurner’s FeedFlare carries on their fire metaphor, possibly referring to flair by using a homophone (i.e. “flare”).

  5. I think it should be Flair, not really sure..
    Office space rocks tho :D

  6. Being the car guru I am I always think of Flares as something attached to the wheel arch to allow for larger width tyres and generally but not always improved road handling.

    Office Space was a great movie.

  7. It has been a quiet day for net news, hasn’t it Andrew?

  8. Mike B

    Slow news day indeed. Thank God Friday is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

  9. Jason

    What bob said. Feedburner, fire, flare. Cmon, it’s punny. :)

  10. I seem to recall coming across some search engine where you can just type in “define:flair” and “define:flare” and it will give you definitions of the word, but I just can’t recall the URL ;-)

    I bet that would resolve the debate.

  11. I think feedburner are referring to flares as in the ones that light the sky up…. Therefore letting you know where the feeds are :)

  12. Londoner

    Bob’s right. FeedBurner just took poetic license and warped Flair into Flare. Silly play on words, but hey…. it got us started on it!

  13. Matt R

    I concur; FeedBurner should use “Flair”.

  14. http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/flair.html

    I agree with others who say that Feedburner’s “flare” fits nicely with their fire/burning theme so you could say it’s just a twist to fit their theme. Who knows, maybe they didn’t mean it as “flair” at all but actually meant to say “flare” (as in fire).

  15. Clintonia

    Maybe using Flair in part of the name is copyright infringement.

    Flair is a baseball card company.

    ?????

  16. Your commenters are correct – we took some liberties with the name to tie back to our brand and the burning of the feeds and whatnot, and the original inspiration was indeed Office Space. Some notable rejects on the path to “FeedFlare” included “WildFire,” “LinkTrickz,” and the inevitable “FeedBuzzer.”

  17. Damn English homonyms eh? I blame it on the British. :)

  18. You know the nazis had pieces of flair that they made the jews wear.

    Yea Chachskis!

  19. hey matt…it’s don from feedburner. while i didn’t do the naming (i think it was matt shobe, one of our cofounders), londoner and bob are right. it’s from office space, but we changed it a bit to match the flame :)

  20. I think there’s some subtle foreshadowing and future plot development in this post that no one has caught onto yet.

    Matt, are you gonna go Milton Waddams at the end of the movie on the ‘Plex? Because if you could just do something cool like that, and then have those TPS reports on my desk by 5:00 PM, that’d be greeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaat.

  21. um, yeeeeaaahh I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday…..

    And don’t forget, Friday is Hawaiian shirt day….

    ok, enough, but you brought up office space, lol ;) And I’m w/you on the wrong flair/flare, but I think it was the play on words thing because they’re feed*burner* … so they are like the ‘fire’ people, hehe.

    STAN: I need to talk about your flair.
    JOANNA: Really? I have 15 buttons on. I, uh… (shows him)
    STAN: Well, ok, 15 is minimum, ok?
    JOANNA: Ok.
    STAN: Now, it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.
    JOANNA: Ok. Ok, you want me to wear more?
    STAN: Look. Joanna.
    JOANNA: Yeah.
    STAN: People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, ok? They come to Chotchkie’s for the atmosphere and the attitude. That’s what the flair’s about. It’s about fun.

  22. Awesome, thanks for stopping by, Feedburner folks! Good to know that it was intentionally smart. :)

  23. (Hope I got my Spam protection question right, I didn’t realise you had to have an IQ to comment!)

    I think it’s important to never let good grammar get in the way of marketing!

    There’s one for the copywriters to debate. (I even put my ‘ in the right place!!!)

  24. Maybe using Flair in part of the name is copyright infringement.

    Flair is a baseball card company.

    ?????

    I doubt that’s the reason. If so, we could get even sillier and say that it plays off of Ric Flair’s name.

    WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  25. I think the term de jour for wdigets/buttons/flaire(flare) is “bling”

  26. Well Matt, what was the source for your quote of the screenplay?

  27. Oh, did we pick the wrong flare too matt?!! Or is this just a chance for a shameless plug?

  28. lol @ Netflare… er, Netflair? ;)

    I think Bob hit the nail on the head: Flair, FeedBURNER, Burn… “Flare”

    P.S. – Rep to Matt for quoting from Office Space.
    “Hello Matt, what’s happening. Listen, I’m going to have to go ahead and congratulate you on that one.” ;)

  29. Brett

    I initially thought it was flair in Office Space too. A visit to dictionary.com actually left me confident it should be flare in office space. I have not seen the screenplay of course, and it seems to often be cited as flair but this definition of flare seems to me like it fits the best…7. to display conspicuously or ostentatiously…while flair means a special knack or talent which does not seem to apply as well to buttons and knick knacks displayed on a uniform….

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