Paperstone – The brilliant office life, work and fun blog

Filing Fact File

filing cabinet

Astound dinner party guests with these facts about files and filing. You’ll set the tongues of the literati newly a-wagging. “Just who was that enigmatic individual so fluent and interesting on the subject of office supplies?”

  • Papers and documents were originally held together using a string or wire called a file, from the Latin filum, “thread”, from which we also get filament. These files were much like the treasury tags we still use today. While the appliances used for holding Papers together have changed, we still use the word file to refer both to a collection of Papers and the thing holding them. In computing, the use of the word dates from 1954.
  • Missing files: According to a written ministerial answer to the House of Commons a few years ago, the UK Ministry of Defence has had over 500 laptops lost or stolen since 1998.
  • Uninterestingly, Russell T. Davis cites The X-Files as an influence on his Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood.
  • Song lyrics referencing office furniture are hard to come by, but Bauhaus’ In The Flat Field contains the following:

    As life maps out onto my brow
    The card is lowered in index turn
    Into my filing cabinet hemispheres spurn.

  • In the 1999 film Being John Malkovich, the portal into that actor’s mind is hidden behind a filing cabinet on the 7 1/2th floor.


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