Quick Tip: Is It Stationery or Stationary?

I don’t like to brag, but I’m a pretty good speller. I even came in third place in a junior high spelling bee once. (Until a few years ago, I always thought I was first runner-up, but my mother corrected me. Still not a bad finish.)

Despite all that, I do have words that trip me up to this day. One, or should I say two, of those are stationary and stationery. One means immobile or at rest, and the other is something you write on. I know the difference, but I’ve almost always had to look them up to make sure I’m using the right spelling. Until now, that is.


An envelope, which begins with an ‘e‘, is a type of stationery.

So simple.

And should you need a visual, the a in stationary, could be represented by a stationary bike. It should be noted, of course, that it’s the bike which is at rest, not the rider. :)


This all came in very handy a couple weeks ago when I gave away an old stationary bike on Freecyle and didn’t have to look up the spelling before posting the listing. :)

What spellings trip you up? Have you found any easy-to-remember solutions for those?

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