Saturday, 6 July 2013

stationary or stationery?

Here's another store where things are at a standstill. Last time it was the stock that wasn't going places. This time it seems to be a trolley.

What a pity the people who make these signs don't know that stationery relates to writing equipment and stationary means not moving. Maybe they need a mnemonic to help them.


Vincent said...

You made some wise comments on my blog a while ago:

This is by way of a return visit. Your picture looks like a Staples shop. I'm glad your blog still stands and yet continues to move. Whether that means it's stationary, I know not. Our numbers seem to be dwindling these days.

parlance said...

Hi, Vincent. It's been a long time since we communicated on your blog. I remember the conversation.

I agree that the numbers on my blogs are dropping noticeably. I don't see it so much on this one, which never did have many visitors, but I do find there is a huge drop in visitors to my other blog.

I think perhaps blogging as a casual hobby is being swallowed up by Twitter.

Tassie Devil said...

I must admit that it is always a struggle for me to follow the nuances of the English language. I recently was 'chastised' by Della for using 'alright' rather than 'all right' and although I have a sub-major in English, each day sees a few thousand brain cells bite the dust.

I've only recently found this blog and would like to belatedly thank you for comments on my guest blog on womagwriter back in May. It was on the subject of titles.

I'm the Aussie exiled and living in France. Apologies for not realising that there was a comments section earlier (I only discovered it upon doing a second Blog for WW).

I note your comments here about blogs (horrible word). I've only ever done two so I'm a bit of a latecomer. Twitter is too scary to even consider joining.

In closing I'll mention a situation I discovered a few years ago. Naively I used to put Mr. and Mrs. in my stories. I was corrected to put Mr and Mrs since 'these terms were not abbreviations'. I countered that they were indeed abbreviations for Mister and Mistress. I recall that I was unceremoniously banned from that writing chatroom forevermore even though I'm certain that I was taught that Mr. was correct back in school.

I shall follow your analyses of the English language with pleasure and hopefully refine my writing.

parlance said...

Tassie Devil, lovely to hear from you. That question of how to spell Mr and Mrs is fascinating. I'm in a writing competition run by NewYork City Midnight that, obviously, is in the US, and I'm careful to put the full-stop after those words, but in Australia I don't use the full-stop. It's in the Style Manual that way. I seems similar to the way we don't put full-stops after st for street and ave for avenue.

My nephew has exiled himself to Paris. Seems to think it's a pretty good place for exile.

Re blogs, I think they might be on the way out in some quarters, but places like womagwriter's blog are still a source of entertainment and interest for me, so I hope they keep going for years.

Vincent said...

Good on you, Tassie Devil. English is a conservative language, in the sense that the old words and orthography still have a respected place, at least in select circles, such as the OED.

When we’re gone, they can do as they like, but till then let us proudly retain the usages we were taught in school, for they cannot become obsolete in our lifetimes.

The OED gives its unstinting blessing to ‘alright’, though as I write this an ignorant spell-checker rejects it.

But in the matter of Mr. & Mrs., H. W. Fowler, in Modern English Usage (modern in 1926, though my edition was ‘corrected’ as recently as 1937) has this to say:

‘Abbreviations are puzzling, but to puzzle is not their purpose, & everything that helps the reader to guess their meaning is a gain. One such help is to let him know when the first and last letters of the abbreviation are also those of the full word, which can be done by not using the period, but writing...Mr (not Mr.) for Mister...Capt. for captain but Cpl for corporal ...

Ah well. Sometimes our teachers, even in those days, were misinformed.

parlance said...

Vincent, that's a great explanation of why we don't use the full-stop in Australian English. We basically follow the rules of British English.

I just jumped up to look on my shelf for the Australian Government style guide and remembered I lent it to a friend years ago - what a bother. However, I looked in a little textbook I love, called Handbook for Writers and Editors, and right there on page 189 was the same explanation as you've given. It mentioned St, Dr, Mr, Rd and Ltd.