Definition:Stationary/Linguistic Note

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Linguistic Note on Stationary

Do not confuse the word stationary (meaning at rest) with stationery (meaning commercially manufactured writing materials).

The two words have a common linguistic root; a stationer, in the middle ages, was the proprietor of a shop which stayed in one place, as opposed to an itinerant or mendicant.

A man walks into a shop and asks the young lady behind the counter: "Do you keep stationery?"
She replies, "Well, up until the last couple of minutes, then I go absolutely frantic."