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The Story Behind tells the extraordinary history of the ordinary. Everyday objects are more closely examined, from their ancient beginnings through the present—all within 5-10 minutes.

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Dec 1, 2016

Many around my age remember talking to our friends on AOL Instant Messenger after school and using netspeak for things like LOL or JK or BRB for Laughing Out Loud, Just Kidding or Be Right Back, which no one really does anymore with the internet.

But every generation has a way of shortening their writing, it seems. Decades ago, high-schoolers took classes on a way of writing called shorthand, which was used in offices for dictation, for reporters taking notes at a quick pace and court reporters transcribing the proceedings. But, sometimes even court reporters couldn’t write shorthand quickly enough to keep up with fast-talkers, and, as seen in all great infomercials, someone said, “There’s Got To Be A Better Way!”

I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Stenomasks.

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The role of Pappy Ward was played by Adam from Everyone has a Podcast.

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