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Virtually all Swingline staplers have a secret identity: when you flip them open, you can use them to tack paper to vertical objects - bulletin boards, cork walls (landlord permitting), soft lumber, and Long John Silver.

Yet all across the country, millions of staplers lead frustrated lives because their owners don't realize this. They yearn to open up and express themselves in a frankly tacky way.

Teachers have known about the secret identity of staplers for decades. How do you suppose all that stuff gets tacked onto classroom bulletin boards? Pushpins? No way!

A staple makes the ideal tack. It's sharp, sturdy, nearly invisible, and gets pushed into things by a machine that, unlike your finger, never gets tired. Removal is just as easy - pulling straight out usually does the trick with no drama. Or, on a bulletin board, just leave it where it is. Won't hurt a soul.

Yet in millions of offices across corporate America, people in important meetings (are there any other kind?) waste valuable time searching for tacks and pins to post reports, illustrations and huge sheets of paper bearing brainstormed ideas. All they really had to do was reach for a humble desk stapler - Swingline, we hope - open it up, and tack, tack, tack.

So be kind to your schedule. And to your stapler. Learn how to tack. You'll be glad you did.

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