Ladies and gentlemen, your grammar lesson for the day:
She remained stationary as a matter of principle. She gave stationery as a gift to her principal.
Homophones can be tricky. But while one should always strive to use the proper form for all words sounding the same yet meaning different things, the one nearest and dearest to our heart is stationery versus stationary.
Stationary, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means “standing still” or ”not moving.”
Stationery, according to the same source, means “writing paper” and “writing materials, as in notepads, pens, pencils, paper and envelopes.”
One shouldn’t feel too bad about confusing these two common words. In fact, they were once the same word and shared the same spelling. In the 1700s, “stationery wares” were sold by “stationers,” i.e. booksellers who did not travel all about, but stayed in one place to sell their wares. They were frequently booksellers who also sold writing wares. Somehow, the spellings diverged into stationery (meaning writing ware) and stationary (meaning fixed and unable to move).
A common school house trick for remembering the proper spelling is to remember that station-ery means pap-er.
Have more questions about etiquette? Email our Crane Concierge at email@example.com.
Owner of The Paper Shop in Winter Park, Florida, Ellen Prague has been in the stationery business for more than 30 years. Her love for beautiful paper, however, goes back much further than that. Here, the former New Yorker waxes poetic about vintage stamps, Jackie Kennedy and the fancy 5th Avenue store that inspired her own boutique’s name.
Ellen Prague, with Boutique Greeter Nikki, at The Paper Shop.
When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
Watching my mother write thank you notes and letters on her beautiful pale blue stationery was my first glimpse of the elegance of communication. When I went to sleep-away camp at age 8, I was expected to write at least a letter every day and I would run to mail call to receive my daily letter from mom, and sometimes from dad and/ grandparents — it was the highlight of my homesick first summer at camp, and remained so all the years at camps and away at schools.
Wedding ceremonies and receptions do not necessarily have the same number of guests.
Many couples, especially those in which the bride is a second-time bride, have small, intimate ceremonies with larger receptions afterwards. Since more people are invited to the reception than the ceremony, the invitations are for the reception. Guests invited to the ceremony are sent ceremony cards with their reception invitations.
Reception invitations always “request the pleasure of your company,” since the reception is not being held in a house of worship. The word “and” is used to join the names of the bride and groom. The phrases “marriage reception” and “wedding reception” are both correct. “Marriage reception” is the more traditional of the two. However, many brides prefer “wedding reception” on the grounds that a wedding is the act of getting married while marriage is the result of that decision.
Speakeasy-inspired cocktails. Old fashioned shaves. British aristocracy. What’s old is new again, and, as purveyors of classic correspondence, we are quite delighted about this trend toward slowing down.
And so in the spirit of stopping to smell the roses, today we’d like to celebrate the calling card.
The Victorians, with their penchant for classifying everything, created a list of symbolic wedding anniversary gifts that is still very much in vogue today.
Here are the traditional anniversary gifts for each year:
You love a good party, which is probably why you get invited to so many. (That and your incredible charm and wit). Here’s how to accept — or decline — an invitation.
Filling in Reply Cards
Reply cards are sent with invitations in order to give recipients an easy and convenient way to respond. They should be returned promptly. Your name, preceded by your title is written in following the “M” in the space provided (that is what the “M” is for). If you will be attending the event, the space between “will” and “attend” is left blank. If you will not be attending, write “not” in that space.
How can you pick out the guy who loves what he does? He’s the one who smiles when you ask him about it. And then keeps smiling throughout the entire interview.
That’s Bob Gregory, a native of North Adams, Massachusetts (where our paper magic happens) who works an engraving press like no one’s business. He’s also a Red Sox fan and could never work at a job in which he was “just sitting there.”
That’s good news for us, and whoever has the pleasure of receiving a box of stationery created by Gregory’s skilled hands.
Here, he chats with us about being a “wedding man,” naming his engraving press and his one degree of separation from a certain blue-eyed crooner.
Mr. President. Madam Ambassador. Your Excellency. A guide to sending impeccably addressed correspondence.
As with the clothes you wear, the stationery you use makes a statement. When you create and assemble your “stationery wardrobe,” keep in mind the impression you hope to make. Your stationery should reflect both your personality and the type of correspondence you’re sending.
With that in mind, there are three questions you should ask yourself when creating your perfect stationery wardrobe. Let’s dive in, shall we?
From formal dinners to Bar Mitzvahs, every party comes with its own invitation etiquette. Here’s how to make sure your soiree is properly presented to potential guests.