Light-line phonography for the million…

Erm, can somebody enlighten me please?  What does ‘for the million’ mean?  Does it mean for the millenium? Or for the masses?  I’ve no idea.


(by Merv for
group greggshorthand)

12 comments Add yours
  1. Yes, I would concur that it means for one and all. He was probably hoping it would catch on widely (he was spot-on in that department), and also he probably didn't want people to think that it was some sort of exclusive form of writing, but that it can be enjoyed by everyone who writes by hand, whether in a professional capacity, or simply for pleasure.

  2. The manual prefaces certainly confirm your interpretation:

    As early as the first edition (1888), Gregg wrote in his introduction, "A great and increasing demand for a simple, rapid and perfectly legible phonetic hand-writing for general use has led to the invention of Light-Line Phonography . . ." The "for the Million" phrase was added in the second edition (1893), where he also stated, ". . . it seems destined in the near future to become The Shorthand of the English-Speaking People."

  3. Looking at options for my first year of high school next year, I do wish that shorthand was still taught (I would even take Pitman!) in schools. Certainly beats welding! Nowadays we don't even suffer from the tyranny of longhand anymore. We learned it in Grade 3, then were not encouraged to use it the next year because it was 'messy' so no one improved, and now no one ever uses it (except for me, I'm an anomaly!).

    It's so sad that these so very viable skills are being phased out….

  4. And the assumption that the students won't need it in the future is glaringly false (says someone who has had several assignments that involved reading — or deciphering — forms completed by hand.) Keyboarding is not always convenient, or even possible.

    I am happy to say that there are still people, even young ones, and even doctors, who take an interest in having legible handwriting. Some of it is even quite beautiful. It's a treat after puzzling over pages of chicken-scratch.

  5. Funny that you say that, because although I mostly type, I love to write cursive as well as shorthand. In fact, shorthand helps me in keeping my cursive writing legible! But what you say is true. One of my nieces (she's 21) has horrid penmanship. I say that she writes like a first grader: she doesn't even write script! I don't really know how she signs her name. It's just truly awful. I had great teachers in elementary school that drilled cursive writing so much and am glad that they did.

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