Last Friday I learned that, like myself, people get really irked by the misspelling of the word “stationery” in the context of paper goods. How do I know this? Because I had the fortune of having a blog post republished, with the misfortune of a minor mishap occurring in the process. My post on Southern Season went out to their list of subscribers and soon afterwards I got a message from my friend Joe congratulating me, but also saying:
"BOO on them for linking the version before you corrected the Stationery typo!”
My heart stopped! Holy crap—how could I have made such a bonehead mistake? I immediately opened my post and much to my relief—everything was cool. E-R-Y. Phew!
So wait? What was he talking about?
And that’s when it hit me. The email.
Apparently it happened when they emailed my post—and since they emailed the entire post (instead of just linking to my blog), there was no taking it back.
Of course, I don't want to get mad at anyone for what was probably (hopefully) a simple typo—especially when they've given me a bunch of new readers! But the fact of the matter is everyone reading that email is going to assume I don't know how to spell stationery. And being that paper is also my business, that's a pretty big problem.
Maybe no one will notice.
Oh. They noticed.
I received emails ranging from trying-to-be-helpful to how-can-you-be-such-an-idiot?! Most of the submissions sounded a lot like this:
"Just to let you know, it's stationery - stationary means it doesn't move, like a stationary bike.. Sorry, I see this all the time and I just couldn't help saying something.”
I suppose I should be happy that so many other people are passionate about paper products. At first I laughed it off, but as the day went on my ability to do so faded. Take a look at that email again. What I wanted to do was write back with a lesson on the correct use of an em dash and what I'm assuming was supposed to be an ellipsis. But I didn't. Instead of acting like a smart ass, I politely thanked all twenty-nine people for pointing out the error and told bad jokes like I always do.
So in an effort to save anyone else the humiliation of this mudslinging, I’ve compiled an assortment of Stationery vs. Stationary” best-of's for your educational viewing pleasure. It’s the least I can do, right?!
To be fair, as Joe also pointed out: "the stationery section probably isn't going anywhere.”
Hooray for that!