Sunday, May 01, 2005

Stationery or Stationary?

More people spell the word with an "a" than an "e". However, stationery is the correct spelling for the paper and supplies used to compose a letter. According to Meriam-Webster Dictionary, stationery is defined as a noun:
1 : materials (as paper, pens, and ink) for writing or typing
2 : letter paper usually accompanied with matching envelopes

Stationary is defined as an adjective:
1 : fixed in a station, course, or mode: IMMOBILE
2 : unchanging in condition

The "e" in stationery can easily be remembered by the "e" in envelope, letter and paper. The "a" in stationary correlates with the "a" in stand. The two words do derive from the same latin root, stationarius. Check out this World Wide Words article for more information about the homonyms "stationery" and "stationary".

Pen & Parchment sells stationery!

1 comment:

Deborah L Chopra said...

I have been using the incorrect spelling for "stationery" refering to paper and envelopes. I am 58 years old and have repeatedly done this through the years. Thanks for the correct info.

Deborah L. Chopra

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