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Fun With Words


A pangram is a sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet. Less frequently, such sentences are called holalphabetic sentences. Interesting pangrams are generally short ones; constructing a sentence that includes the fewest repeat letters possible is a challenging task. However, pangrams that are slightly longer yet enlightening, humorous, or eccentric are noteworthy in their own right.

By far the most well-known pangram is, "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." Frequently this is the sentence used to test out new typewriters, presumably because it includes every letter of the alphabet. Curiously, this sentence is often misquoted by changing "jumps" to "jumped." The past tense version, lacking an "s," is not a pangram. Often, too, it is misquoted as "the lazy dog" rather than "a lazy dog." This error is not as grievous; the sentence remains a pangram, just a slightly longer one.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are no particularly clever 26 letter pangrams in English. Constructing a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet once and no more -- essentially an anagram of the alphabet -- seems to require the use of acronyms, initials, and strange punctuation. The most interesting I've seen is, "Glum Schwartzkopf vex'd by NJ IQ."

Also note the section on autograms, as that contains some autograms (sentences that self-document their letter content) that are also pangrams.

A number of pangrams are given below, listed from longest to shortest.