I know this isn't exactly a thrifty tip. Still, since so much is done in print and via email these days, avoiding even seemingly small misspellings and typos can make you more marketable in a tough economy. Attention to detail will set you above the crowd.
To know whether to use "stationary" or "stationery" in a sentence, use this simple mnemonic:
STATIONARY = You AREN'T moving
STATIONERY = PAPER.
Source: Seeing a misspelled instance reminded me of my English classes of long ago.
JustPlainJo, Springfield, Ohio
Loved it. Spelling, as you get older seems to fade, just because of not using it on a daily basis. On the internet lots has come back but tips like this are super for my tired brain.
This reminds me of my bane: I could never remember how to spell promise until I figured out it contains no 'ice'.
This was a good tip; and it made me think of another one that I see all the time "then" and "than". I can't believe how often I see someone write "I did this, than I did that." Or, "This is bigger then that." I guess then goes with when, so maybe that is a good way to remember. :)
Long ago in elementary school, the nun who taught us English gave us a hint about Stationery/Stationary that I have used ever since. The hint was that the "a" in Stationary stands for "always," as in "always in the same spot." Never forgetting that simple tip made sure I've used the correct spelling for the past 50 years.
Keep the tips coming! I am a huge fan of grammar!
I love all this feedback! Miredor, I like your nun's take on this commonly-confused pair.
What cracks me (and my family) up is, I can still spot misspellings, even with a screen-reader program. I know my spelling skills have suffered because of it, so I try to remind myself of proper spellings frequently.
And for my take on "than vs then," here's the link:
The grammar tip I always remember - (principle or principal). When you need to spell the principal of your school, use principal (he is your pal - last 3 letters of the word). It always amazes me how some things you always remember - don't ask me what I wore to work yesterday!
The mnemonic I use for stationery is similar to yours, Jo. StationERy is used for writing a lettER.
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