A recent IM conversation I had at work


Me: “Don’t you want to roll your eyes at people who don’t know the difference between stationary and stationery?”

Him: “It’s an easy mistake – the only way I remember it is that e goes with envelope.”

Me: “I remember it because e goes with letter… which, now that I think about it, is a completely useless mnemonic device.”



  1. Greta on April 15, 2009 at 8:25 AM


    I have been spelling stationery wrong for years.

    As someone who, if she had her way, would obsessively correct everyone’s grammar and spelling every time that it was not PERFECT, I find this mortifying.

  2. hootenannie on April 15, 2009 at 8:27 AM

    Greta. I went through the exact same emotions when I found out that “complimentary” is not the same as “complementary.” Deep breaths, self-forgiveness, and the Serenity prayer help.


  3. Mom on April 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    How ’bout a little grace, girls!!??

  4. Greta on April 15, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    That DOES help actually. I’ve always felt very smug when considering complimentary/complementary. Is it wrong to feel self-righteous indignation when someone uses the two incorrectly?


    Especially since I’ve supposedly been writing thank-you notes on a verb that means “immobile” for so many years.

    Susan, there are many things I am able to give myself grace for, before I can forgive myself misspelled words… It is a sickness.

  5. Greta on April 15, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    It’s an adjective! GAH!

  6. Deborah Barnett on April 15, 2009 at 5:52 PM

    heh heh heh… word nerds. Yep. That’s what we are. I’m with you Greta. Which means we’re complementary. Not that I was being complimentary.

  7. Sarah on April 15, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    I see red when people misuse effect and affect.

    I, too, went for many years before I knew how to properly spell “stationery.”

    There is also apparently a difference between “material” and “materiel.”

  8. Rebs on April 21, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Wow. I never noticed the difference before. Thanks for the valuable tidbit! xx

  9. Nathan Sales on April 22, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    You crack me up.

  10. Casey on May 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    I like the way that guy thinks. :)

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