Q: Should I write “flyer” or “flier”?
Well, it refers to what you are talking about, but in general, you will want to use “flier” to adhere to AP style.
According to the AP Stylebook, “Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill.”
When referencing an airplane pilot, you might write: “It is debatable whether the airplane flier fell asleep or if he was distracted while flying.”
If referring to physical handouts, usually made of paper, a correct sentence could be: “I was given 100 fliers to distribute by the end of the day.”
The only time you need to use the spelling “flyer” is if it is the proper name of something, such as a train or bus. (I suppose this spelling would also be correct for some periodicals, as well, but this seems contradictory, since these publications should be using AP style …)
The only time I believe “flyer” should be used? When talking about Radio Flyer wagons – those things are fantastic.
“The AP Stylist” is written by Sandy Young, SoCalPRBlog’s resident contributor for all things AP style. Young is a public relations account executive at J. Walcher Communications and freelance writer, as well as a board member for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Diego/Imperial Valley Chapter. She has been a member of several of San Diego’s top public relations and marketing communications agencies and has worked with high-profile clients in a wide variety of industries nationwide.
To submit a question for “The AP Stylist,” email Young at email@example.com, and put “AP Stylist Question” in the subject line, or post a comment below. Young can also be reached on Twitter: @san_dyego