Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Can't Order 1,000 Stationary and Envelops

Just received an e-mail this week from a client who wanted to order 1,000 stationary and envelops. As much as I wanted to complete her order, I couldn't as it was written. Stationary and envelops can't be ordered.
Why? One is an adjective, the other is a verb (I think, it's 2 a.m. and my brain is not in full gear). What I do know is that they aren't nouns. Stationary means something that is not going to move. Envelop means to surround. People mix them up with stationery and envelope all the time.
So how can you remember the difference? They key is "E."
An envelope (that you stuff and mail) has to open and close ... open it with an "e," close it with an "e." Don't leave it open at the end.
Stationery (that you write on) ends with "ery," not "ary." Remember there's an Envelope in every box of stationery, so think "e."
Now, for all you smarty pants out there who are thinking stationery isn't what should be ordered in this situation, I'd agree. The correct term for the paper you write on is letterhead. Stationery is the broader term covering both. So when you order your stationery, make sure you get both letterhead and envelopes. Okey dokey?
Although we'd like to keep our 4th grade Engligh teachers happy, the bottom line is, if you send me an order for stationary, stationairy, stashunary, envelops, invelopes or envilopes, I would be more than happy to get you everything you need.


Andrea said...

Hi Vickie. Thanks for the reminder. I always enjoy your creativity!


Stephanie Angelo said...


My mother was an author and journalist, and wrote for a major newspaper for over 20 years. When I went to college (in the days before computers and spell check!) I wrote to her on a regular basis. She would return my letters marked with red ink corrections.

She would have loved you!