Little Book of Confusables

Stationery vs stationary: simple tips to remember the difference

STATIONERY vs STATIONARY: which is which? Tips and tricks to remember the difference

STATIONERY and STATIONARY are commonly confused – and often by people who really should know better. I’ve seen graphic designers and printers offering ‘eye-catching STATIONARY’ more times than I care to remember – most recently in a glossy brochure promoting the services of a Gloucester-based design agency.

It makes me cringe – and I’m not the only one. So, here’s a simple tip to help you remember the correct spelling every time.

STATIONERY is a noun that means the tools used in offices, or for writing – paper and pens, in a nutshell.

You can remember E for Envelopes, or ER in papER.

For example:

“I used to love going back to school after the long summer holidays. It was always a good excuse to buy new STATIONERY.”

STATIONARY is an adjective used to describe something that’s still, or not moving.

Remember the AR in pARked cAR.

For example:

“Sorry I’m late – I was stuck in STATIONARY traffic.”

“Sorry I’m late – I was stuck in STATIONERY traffic” makes no sense. Unless it was a queue of Office World vans.

I hope this simple tip helps you remember the difference between STATIONERY and STATIONARY.

Get more tips in The Little Book of Confusables

Confusables: STATIONARY vs STATIONERY. Simple spelling tips to remember the difference, from The Little Book of Confusables

STATIONARY vs STATIONERY. Excerpt from The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend.

The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend

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