A common grammatical error is to confuse the words “stationary” and “stationery.” The former, as a nearby old Webster’s Dictionary helpfully advises, means “not moving: staying in one place or position.” And the latter refers to “office materials (such as paper, pens and ink).” But when we turn to the paper clip—one of the most trusted, longstanding and ubiquitous items of almost any pencil case, desk organizer or filing cabinet drawer—both words and either spelling seem to be equally appropriate. In a world where even the crust of a humble takeout pizza can scarcely be left free from elaborate additions, the paper clip stands steadfast. Immune to fleeting fads, fashions and the mania for more and more innovative technology, its design has remained largely unchanged for close to a century now. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Fifteen Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Food Issue 19 My Kitchen Table: Dominique Crenn French-born chef Dominique Crenn knows how to keep a level head and relishes the nights when she gets to cook to her own soundtrack.