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The stapler is an essential part of the office workplace in the 20th Century.

The stapler is a special mechanical device designed to force wire staples through several sheets of paper. Then it bends the protruding ends over, holding the sheets of paper together. However, staplers often fail in this simple task, merely folding the staple against the top sheet. The shape of the misplaced staple is usually a kind of groovy wave. After about five attempts at using the stapler, it is best to give up and use a paperclip (which is a far more versatile piece of bent wire, anyway).

Staplers come in many colours, shapes and sizes. Possibly the best staplers are the see-through electronic ones, which, although they are gadgety, and fail to staple anything thicker than two sheets of paper, may still make you the envy of your office colleagues.

There is an office tradition which requires that, whenever a new employee takes over an old desk, he or she must be provided with lots of loose staples in the back of one of the drawers, but may not be provided with a stapler.

There are also devices called staple removers, which are useful for removing staples from sheets of paper. Staple removers also look a little bit like Pacman with fangs.

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