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.

Confusables stationary vs stationery. Language and spelling tips from copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial

Confusables: stationary vs stationery. Language and spelling tips from copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial