- A flyer can be one of several things: a pamphlet, something that flies, or a device you’d use to twist yarn.
- Flier is a also an accepted spelling of the word.
- Keep in mind, though, that the guidelines for the usage of flyer and flier vary from one style guide to another.
A flyer, a circular, a leaflet, a pamphlet, a handbill—so many words for one simple thing. A piece of paper with words and images printed on it that gets handed out on a street. Or, in modern times, even sent by email.
But while we’re sure we know what a flyer is, there is some confusion about how exactly to spell it. Is it “flyer,” or is it “flier?” Or is it that the different versions are used for different meanings? “Flyer” can also refer to a flying person or animal, for example. The answer to all of these questions is yes. “Flier” is an acceptable way to spell the word, as is “flyer.” According to some sources, the spellings are different according to the meaning of the word.
When you say the word flyer, you could be talking about a couple of things. You might be referring to a pamphlet, a sheet of paper with words or pictures on it that is used for advertising, propaganda, or spreading information. This is the kind of flyer that’s mentioned in the following sentence:
A flyer can also be a person, an animal, or an object that flies. If you often find yourself at the airport, waiting to board your flight, you might want to look into your preferred company’s frequent flyer program. And, in case you didn’t know, some birds are not good flyers, but the bar-tailed godwit certainly is:
Finally, a flyer is also a device used for twisting yarn. So if you’re into making your own yarn, a yarn flyer is something you should have:
How to Spell Flyer
A lot of the confusion about the correct way to spell “flyer” comes not only from the fact that there is no standard way of doing it but also from the fact that different style manuals seem to prefer different spellings. The Elements of Style and the Chicago Manual of Style do not address the issue. Those in favor of “flier” include the Daily Telegraph, the Associated Press, and the American Heritage College Dictionary. Fans of “flyer” include the Guardian, Fowler’s Modern English Usage, and the Oxford Dictionaries website. In the Gregg Reference Manual, a flier is a pilot and a flyer is an advertising brochure. Garner’s Modern English Usage identifies “flier” as standard in the United States and “flyer” as the British form. Style manuals and dictionaries don’t necessarily have to concur on all issues. In this case, the disagreement means that you get to choose how you spell “flyer.” Unless you’re obliged to follow a particular style manual, that is. Or you’re writing copy for an airline—it seems they strongly prefer to use flyer.
Examples: Flyer and Flier in a Sentence
Speed flyers run or ski down slopes and then use special parachutes designed to let them fly fast and close to the ground. —CBS News
The question now appears to hinge on whether Mr Hanson is responsible for the election flyer, which was authorised by Mr Clode as campaign director. —The Canberra Times
Want to share your frequent flier miles with a friend or a family member? It may cost you. —The New York Times
Karsten remembers getting hit with a wave of sadness in the hospital after delivering her daughter, Annika, but she dismissed it and tucked away the flier from the social worker with the MOMS number. —The Chicago Tribune