How many are we?

NOTES AND COMMENTS

January 24, 2000|By John O'Ren

AMID the calendar fuss, little notice has been given that other annual document, our two-color telephone directory.

Greater Baltimore's 1999-2000 White and Yellow Pages are out, with their yardsticks of what's greater, or smaller. The page count does it.

As to people (Bell Atlantic would say subscribers), 1,840 pages' worth is the highest ever, and 23 more than in 1998-1999. Ten years ago, the total was a mere 1,496.

Watch us grow.

Then there's business, which comes in two alphabetic parts: names and classifications (accountants, acupuncturists, etc.), here combined.

In 1990-1991, 1,408 pages. In 1997-1998, 1,415 pages. In 1998-1999, 1,669 pages. In 1999-2000, 1,335 pages.

Here, the indicator is less sure: Yellow Pages now has a commercial rival, The One Book.

Also, the nature of business today is bigness -- meaning deletion by reason of merger or takeover, not just failure. White Pages analysis can go on and on.

How many persons have more than one listing? Does the total of unlisted subscribers grow or decline? The honor of first name in the book goes not to Aaaron, M. but to two fellows who have induced Bell Atlantic to list them by their first initial, A., as well as later on by their last names. They are (sigh) lawyers.

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