Irish language

How to move a filing cabinet and a bookcase into your mobile phone

PAPER OVERLOAD: The days when people talked about paperless offices are long gone but with scanners that come as apps, you can now keep all your essential documentation or your favourite photos on your mobile phone 
Robert McMillen


Dia daoibh, odd couples the land over, and welcome to another exciting burst of the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer’s head is in a frazzle, dear readers, as he has finally grasped the nettle, taken the bull by the horns with up-rolled sleeves and has started to battle against the paper pile-up.

Páipéar is paper and the earliest fragments of what was to become the paper we know today date back to second- century China but the amount of paper in the Bluffer’s house would fill Tullymore Forest if it went back to its natural state!

Needless to say, there are a lot of nuachtáin - newspapers in the Bluffer’s abode, nuachtáin laethúla - daily newspapers and nuachtáin sheachtainiúla - weekly newspapers, but there are also gearrthóga - cuttings which he has cut out of newspapers over the years.

Being interested in polaitíocht - politics, there is a pile of stuff that is fascinating to look back upon to see what a warped society we live in. At this juncture, I’d like to thank the inventor of the Poly Pocket - the póca plaisteach, not Polly Pocket the doll - without whom the paper mountain would be Everest-like. 

Instead, he has leabharagáin - bookcases full of comhaid - folders and his comhdú - filing skills leave a lot to be desired, it has to be admitted.

The arrachas tí - house insurance is mixed up with teastais breithe - birth certificates and billí aibhléise - electricity bills. 

Then there are the bills of every kind imaginable, bank statements, educational stuff, stuff to do with hobbies, magazines, work material and the dreaded dramhphost - junk mail. Hence the head-melt.

But then again, there are also little lost gems you come across when you go for a forensic tidy.

Find the kids’ school reports - providing they are glowing endorsements of your parenting skills - will bring a proud smile to your face.

Old photographs also can be found in the deep recesses of a filing cabinet or cardboard box, giving everyone the opportunity to laugh at your flared trousers and Mexican moustache. Even finding a receipt can be good fun, reminders of a lovely meal in a restaurant, or a bus trip or a present for a loved one.

But sadly mostly what you get is reminders of where your money has disappeared to.

Still, negating the need for a caibinéad comhad - a filing cabinet and files and index cards is the wonderful invention of the scanóir - scanner and the Bluffer has just bough an aip - an app for his guthán cliste - smart phone that is a brilliant scanner.

You could use the ceamara - the camera on your phone but this scanner takes pdfs that are inchuardaithe - searchable.

Now all the important stuff can be scanned onto a computer and kept in folders on your 

laptop, and take it anywhere with you.

Still, despite all the whingeing, there is still something more real than having paper in your hand. The idea of a paperless office has proven to be illusory and the idea of having a paperless home is just a pipe-dream too so the Bluffer is getting back to pile after pile after pile. 



páipéar (paapayr) - paper 

nuachtáin (nooakhtaain) - newspapers 

nuachtáin laethúla (nooakhtaain layhoola) - daily newspapers 

nuachtáin sheachtainiúla (nooakhtaain hakhtinoola) - weekly newspapers

gearrthóga (gyarhoga) - cuttings 

polaitíocht (politcheeakht) - politics

póca plaisteach (poka plashtakh) - Polly Pocket

leabhragáin (lyoragaan) - bookcases 

comhaid (coewadge) - folders 

comhdú (coedoo) - filing 

arrachas tí (arahiss tee) - house insurance 

teastais breithe (chastish brayha) - birth certificates

billí aibhléise (bilee aavlaysha) - electricity bills

dramhphost (draowfost) - junk mail

caibinéad comhad (cabinayd coewad) - a filing cabinet

scanóir (scanore) - scanner

aip (aap) - an app 

guthán cliste (goohaan clishta) - smart phone

ceamara (kyamara) - a camera

inchuardaithe (inkhoordeeha) - searchable

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