Letters, We Write Letters

A correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous sent me this link; I was lucky enough to get some of this stationery as a gift a while back so I figured everyone knew about it, but just in case, I'm posting it today. It's from Fred Flare, and it's $8 for 16 sheets and envelopes, plus cute little stickers …

I generally like Fred Flare, but if you value your eyeballs, don't go check out their new blog. The rule for replacing "s" with "z" at the end of a word? (As in "twins" becoming "twinz" and "girls" becoming "girlz") Is you get to do it SPARINGLY. Too much = not funny. Too much = really annoying. (Also, I don't need to see any more pictures of either Olsen twin, but maybe that's just me.)

And, while I'm dispensing dictats, can I remind you all of the spelling hint that differentiates "stationAry" (as in "and yet it (doesn't) move") and "stationEry" (cute paper to write letters on) is that the pEn that you use to write on stationEry has an "E", and so does stationEry itself. I have tons of these little hints, and I make up more all the time, which is kinda dumb of me as I think spelling talent is pretty much hereditary and is very hard to learn, at least in English. Yet still I try.

I have a rollicking head cold today and am moving about as fast as molasses uphill in January. In other words, I'm much more like stationAry than stationEry (which moves quite briskly through the mails). In fact, I think I'd better go lie down …

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0 thoughts on “Letters, We Write Letters

  1. I always try to remember the rule about stationary/-ery (though I remember it well enough without the trick, most of the time). But I always thought it was because you write letters on stationery. I suppose it doesn’t make a difference. :-)Lately, I wish I wrote more letters, and this is very cute stationery!

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  2. Glad to find at least one other person who understands station{a|e}ry.I also think spelling is hereditary. I can spell and my 3rd son can spell, even though he otherwise has no interests in words or reading.I love stationery but hardly use it any more. I have some Japanese stationery that I love.

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  3. Here’s what I learned in Catholic school many years ago. (God love those nuns.) StationEry – is papEr. I like your one for stationAry – stAnding still. – Judi

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  4. StationEry uses Envelopes. StationAry is stAnding still.Supine is our Erin, with Kleenex and a chill (feel better!).Twollin: your code word to remember isVANE: Verb/Affect, Noun/Effect: Generally speaking, “affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun. When you Affect something, you produce an Effect on it. The exceptions (of course there are exceptions, and DON’T use these if you’re already a bit unsteady – stick with VANE):”Effect” as a verb and “affect as a noun: as a verb, “effect” means to execute, produce, or accomplish something; as a noun, “affect” is used primarily by psychologists to refer to feelings and desires as factors in thought or conduct.

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  5. Wow, I wish they were selling the actual dress pattern, not just stationery with the patter cover on it. That’s a pretty dress. I love a square neck and fitted waist with a full skirt!Here is an easy way to avoid the stationery/stationary spelling dilamma: just say writing paper for stationery.Hope you feel better soon, Erin.

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  6. Who could write letters over those lovely dresses?!I’m a collector of writing paper – have some from the ’40’s. My great-granddaughter Zoe (who is 7 years old) has discovered it, and lo and behold, I am letting her write letters on it. She’s an inspiration!

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  7. Tru dat.Kidding, Erin. I hear ya. Feel better, and if you have time can you come over and look at this dress and tell us if you think the drawstring around the neckline is what it needz?

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  8. Growing up (in Australia), I always had difficulty with remembering the difference between license and licence; also practice and practise. One was a verb, the other was a noun, but I could never remember which one was which.

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  9. Sometimes, I hate the computer. I never write letters anymore. It’s a sad, sad thing. I have a banker’s file box full of stationery, too. I’d love to own this set but what for? I need inspiration. I used to write letters every week. Typically, I would pick one or two out-of-town friends and send ’em a letter. I’d move through a list so that by the time a month was over, I’d done quite a bit of corresponding. Now, it seems hell has to freeze over before I pick up a pen and a nice piece of paper for communication purposes. Does anyone else hate the computer for that reason?

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  10. I suppose I am being the Grumpy Gus in the crowd, but doesn’t anyone own a writer’s handbook anymore? They were standard issue in my high school and it helped immensely in college. Amy

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  11. Susan, I grew up in Australia too – in my school we learnt that we practiSe a Sport and ‘practice’ is “A Country Practice” (of course, that indicates exactly when I was going to school – the peak of ACP’s popularity – but I can live with that). I think Americans only use one of those variants though (I hate the fact that I have to write my dissertation in American spelling).

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  12. I’m glad we’re writing about letters today because I have what would otherwise be a completely random comment. Every morning I type the letters “dre” into my browser and word completion finishes the rest of the url for me. But today my fingers were shifted by one on the keyboard, and I typed “sew” instead. Isn’t that neat?

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  13. Lay and lie– You lie down. You lie. However, you lay your books down. You lay a blanket on the floor. You lay an egg.That last is how I remind people. You lay an egg. Lay always has an object; you cannot simply lay any more than you can simply wear. You have to lay something, like an egg.That’s interesting about practise and practice; I didn’t know there was a distinction between the two.

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  14. For all those with grammar queries, I suggest you check out Grammar Girl blog/podcast. These are snappy little enteries, described by the author as “Quick and Dirty tips for better writing”. Her most recent post is on the Lie/Lay issue discussed above.

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  15. But with lay/lie, it gets more confusing because if you lie down in the afternoon (perhaps you, like Erin, aren’t feeling well), when you find yourself napping later, you would excuse yourself by saying, “I lay down earlier; I must have fallen asleep.” Right?

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  16. Indeed, Becky. I lie, yesterday I lay, I have lain here for hours.I lay the egg (sorry, that’s my favorite example), yesterday the chicken laid an egg, I have laid another blanket on the bed because it is really cold here.

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  17. diatryma,As I said, I don’t think there is a distinction in the US (where are you?) I only discovered recently that this was the case, though – I keep learning new things about American English. 🙂

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  18. Yeah, I’m US, but I thought it was always practise et cetera. I have heard that Webster of dictionarial fame started because he wanted to distinguish good American English from foul oppressor Redcoat English, but it’s not something I’ve confirmed. Of course, then you hit people like me who are so very read-y that ‘humor’ and ‘humour’ are pronounced with a subtle difference.

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  19. And then there’s the whole sit/set thing. So many rules to remember.Love your blog! I’m a dress ho, so it’s right up my alley.

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  20. Another one is its and it’s. Sadly, I really don’t think this stuff is being taught in schools anymore (and I’m a first grade teacher myself).

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  21. My most tenuous memory-prodder is for the British parliamentary committee system, drummed into my head at the age of 18 and still recallable at the mention of any even slightly relevant stimili.There are select committees and standing committees. One deals with legislation and the other is departmentally based. Because this is politics and noone is helpful or sensible, the SeLect Committee deals with Departments and the StanDing Comittee deals with Legislation. Simple, non?!Oh the little thoughts that guide us…

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  22. I first learned about mnemonic devices in grade 7 and to this day, I remember some of them. “She said ‘EEE’ as she ran through the cEmEtEry.” “The villain lived at a VILLA IN the hills.” For the others, I would have to be presented with one of the words and then suddenly, the mnemonic would kick in. Like papEr and stationEry.

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  23. “Loser” and “looser” always bugs me; I told a student once, “If someone’s that pitiful, they don’t get the extra letter.”Can we also stand up for less and fewer? Less for masses, fewer for countables:Less coffee, fewer cupsLess fabric, fewer dresses (perish the thought!)This is probably another one of those distinctions which is disappearing, but English has the largest vocabulary of any known language; why not take full advantage of it?!Oh, and here’s another cute dress-related thing to cheer you up!

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  24. Speaking of spelling, I remember a watertower along a highway in a town in which I once lived. High up in large letters, someone had spray painted the words, “Satin rules”. Unless you prefer velvet…

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  25. Those hints aren’t dumb–I remember and use some of them, and better spelling CAN be learned. There are certain words I used to habitually misspell until I made of point of memorizing them or finding some way to always pause and think of which way is right.And I’d have misspelled ‘misspell’ just then if not for the handy spell checker in my browser.

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