I'll Take One of Everything

A pangram is a sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet.

People learning to type (or, these days, to "keyboard") are given pangrams in order to practice locating every letter.

Font designers may choose a pangram as a way to attractively display the look of their design.

In the book Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, a statue has been erected to the person (given the name "Nevin Nollop") who invented the phrase

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
But when a few of the brass letters fall off, the council rules that this is a sign that those letters should no longer be used in speech and writing. (This requires people to talk in lipograms of increasing strength.) The only thing that will stop the council is for the citizens to try to come up with a shorter pangram than that achieved by Nollop.

If you try this yourself, you soon find that your initial progress is always stymied by a recalcitrant set of unworkable consonants. It's tempting to invoke the help of Mr Mxyzptlk!

One of the most common sentences used in typing practice turns out not to be a pangram at all, though it spewed forth from many budding typists almost compulsively:

Another sentence comes close to being a pangram (can you spot the problem?) but is hardly memorable or meaningful:

Most pangrams use a few letters several times:

The best pangrams use each letter exactly once, becoming, in the process, close to gibberish:

Last modified on 08 April 2013.