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Word comparisons

Note 81 – The difference between stationery and stationary

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 81, then please read on…

Quite a simple one tonight, but important to remember.  The word stationery is to do with paper, pens, envelopes, etc., and if something is stationary it is not moving.   Bernard C. Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, explains an easy way to remember the difference as follows:

  • Stationary – “all the ‘a’s in Ma’s car was stationary
  • Stationery – “all the ‘e’s in The envelopes were stationery”

If that doesn’t work for you, try reading the tip on the site by following the link This gives you some sentences with each word in.  It also mentions again that the way to remember how to spell stationery is to remember that envelope has an ‘e’. 

My thoughts:  if all else fails, I’ll remember the ‘a‘ in car for stationary and the ‘e‘ in envelopes for stationery.  Just don’t think of paper because that has an ‘a’ and an ‘e’ and will really throw you!

Hope you have enjoyed reading this.  I blog daily so please don’t forget to come back tomorrow to learn more or feel free to subscribe to receive them by email.

Until tomorrow…


This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the introduction to my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK website – link


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer


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