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Which one's correct? I've seen both claiming to be correct...

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up vote 1 down vote accepted


'Faire' would is an old-fashioned spelling and would be somewhat pretentious nowadays. You also sometimes see 'fayre' in the context of food, normally something like 'We serve traditional home-cooked fayre'.

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Huh... "Faire" makes me think of French ("to do" or "to make"), so I always went with Fair but thought it might be wrong. Thanks. – Mehrdad Jan 21 '11 at 22:33
"Fayre" is just another spelling of "fair". The word meaning food is "fare"; I've never seen "fayre" used with this meaning. – psmears Jan 21 '11 at 22:49
"Fayre" is an alternative spelling of "fair", but I'm not sure about it being an alternative of "fare" (as in your example). See: is.gd/V1wM2R – Steve Melnikoff Jan 21 '11 at 22:50
Ah well, if you've never seen 'fayre' in that context then it can't be right, right? caterham-independent.co.uk/eating-out/… dalgarven.co.uk/news.htm It's very common in the UK. – user3444 Jan 21 '11 at 22:52
Why is it pretentious? Some seem to use the old fashioned spelling to add a touch of class to event banners/advertising. It doesn't really impress me as more or less classy----but it sounds ironically pretensions to accuse them of pretentiousness. – user45588 Jun 6 '13 at 22:38

"Fair" is the common, modern usage. "Faire" is the old-fashioned (pretentious) spelling, but it's not out of usage.

Thus one goes to is going to a modern event, it might be the state fair, and if one it attending something more old-fashioned, it might be a renaissance faire.

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Fair is the standard word in modern English, and is usually what’s appropriate.

Faire and fayre are older spellings, used in specific names but not widely used as generic terms today. So a fair might call itself The Cottesloe Village Faire to evoke historical associations; but except when referring to it by name, it would still usually be called a fair. (Just as one would write “Jayne’s Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe is a very nice shop.”)

There are a few exceptions: faire and fayre get used as generic terms within some historical re-enactment subcultures—most notably, for Renaissance faires. If someone writes “I’m going to a faire next weekend”, I would assume they mean something like that.

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