Notes on English usage - stationery or stationary?
Two words that are often confused are "stationery" and "stationary". Their meanings are very different - the former refers to materials used for writing, such as paper and envelopes, the latter means standing still, or not moving. The two meanings are clear in the sentence:
The car was stationary at the roadside while its owner was buying stationery in the shop.
How do you remember which one is which? A simple way is to remember that somebody who does something is a "doer", not a "doar". Somebody who sells notepaper and envelopes is a "stationer" not a "stationar". What he sells is therefore "stationery", not "stationary".
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