Stationery vs. Stationary

Stationery vs. Stationary

The Basics: Stationery vs. Stationary

Hi Everyone!

I have been in the stationery industry for almost two decades (wow that makes me feel OLD!) With this being said, I have seen this common mistake THOUSANDS of time. So let's get down to business and set the record straight!

When it comes to writing, language can be a tricky thing. One common confusion arises between the terms "stationery" and "stationary." Many people mistakenly interchange these words, but the truth is, they have completely different meanings and spellings. In this blog post, we'll explore the basics of these terms, focusing on the correct spelling of "stationery" and how it differs from "stationary.”

The first step in tackling this confusion is to understand what each term means. "Stationery" refers to writing materials, such as paper, pens, envelopes, and other office supplies. (You know ALL the pretty things Ledgewood Fine Stationery creates!) On the other hand, "stationary" is an adjective that describes something that is not moving, fixed in one place, or immobile. (imagine an envelope SITTNG on a desk - it is stationary stationery at that point!)

Now that we know the difference between the two terms, let's focus on the spelling of "stationery." It is important to note that "stationery" is spelled with an "e" as opposed to "stationary," which is spelled with an "a." This is a very common mistake, even for experienced writers, but it's crucial to get it right. One way I like to remind people is by my own name! Frances is spelled with an E just like stationery is spelled with an E!

While we are on my name… it is also commonly misspelled. Francis with an I is the male version of the name, whereas Frances with an E is the female version of the name. Just another little handy tidbit to put in your back pocket!

Speaking of handy tidbits, to help you remember the correct spelling for stationery, here are a few tips:

1. Visualize the "e" for Envelopes: Think of "stationery" as the word that encompasses all the materials you use for writing letters, notes, and invitations. Envelopes, an essential part of stationery, also contain the letter "e."

2. Remember the "a" in "stationary" stands for "At rest": The word "stationary" contains the letter "a," which can remind you of something being at rest or not moving, just like the word's definition.

3. Practice, practice, practice: The more you use these words in your writing and conversations, the more natural the correct spelling will become. Over time, you'll develop a strong instinct for distinguishing between the two.

Spelling errors can be embarrassing, but with a little practice and understanding, you can avoid common mistakes like confusing "stationery" with "stationary." Remember that "stationery" with an "e" refers to paper products, while "stationary" with an "a" describes something that is not moving. By paying attention to the subtle differences and incorporating these tips, you'll be able to impress others with your impeccable spelling skills.

This is VERY important lingo in the wedding industry - so if you are a wedding pro, make sure when listing information about invitations to spell it "stationery." You'll show your knowledge simply by spelling it correctly!

So, the next time you reach for your trusty pen and paper, or need to describe something that is not moving, you'll confidently choose the right term. I hope you enjoyed the Fine Stationery with Frances blog today with these little tidbits about one of my absolute FAVORITE words. Happy writing!

With Love, Frances

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