Pangram

From Academic Kids

A pangram (Greek: pan gramma, "every letter") or holoalphabetic sentence is a piece of text which uses every letter of the alphabet. 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.

In a sense, the pangram is the opposite of the lipogram, where the aim is to omit one or more letters.

Today, pangrams are frequently used to display typefaces.

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.

Contents

Examples

  • Forsaking monastic tradition, twelve jovial friars gave up their vocation for a questionable existence on the flying trapeze. (106 letters)
  • No kidding -- Lorenzo called off his trip to visit Mexico City just because they told him the conquistadores were extinct. (99 letters)
  • Jelly-like above the high wire, six quaking pachyderms kept the climax of the extravaganza in a dazzling state of flux. (96 letters)
  • Oh, wet Alex, a jar, a fag! Up, disk, curve by! Man Oz, Iraq, Arizona, my Bev? Ruck's id-pug, a far Ajax, elate? Who? (77 letters) (also a palindrome)
  • Ebenezer unexpectedly bagged two tranquil aardvarks with his jiffy vacuum cleaner. (71 letters)
  • Six javelins thrown by the quick savages whizzed forty paces beyond the mark. (64 letters)
  • The explorer was frozen in his big kayak just after making queer discoveries. (64 letters)
  • The July sun caused a fragment of black pine wax to ooze on the velvet quilt. (61 letters)
  • The public was amazed to view the quickness and dexterity of the juggler. (60 letters)
  • While Suez sailors wax parquet decks, Afghan jews vomit jauntily abaft. (59 letters)
  • We quickly seized the black axle and just saved it from going past him. (57 letters)
  • Six big juicy steaks sizzled in a pan as five workmen left the quarry. (56 letters)
  • While making deep excavations we found some quaint bronze jewelry. (56 letters)
  • Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward. (55 letters)
  • A mad boxer shot a quick, gloved jab to the jaw of his dizzy opponent. (54 letters)
  • The job requires extra pluck and zeal from every young wage earner. (54 letters)
  • A quart jar of oil mixed with zinc oxide makes a very bright paint. (53 letters)
  • Whenever the black fox jumped the squirrel gazed suspiciously. (53 letters)
  • We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize. (50 letters)
  • How razorback-jumping frogs can level six piqued gymnasts! (49 letters) (Used for font samples by the Macintosh, System 7 era)
  • Crazy Fredericka bought many very exquisite opal jewels. (48 letters)
  • Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag. (48 letters)
  • Cozy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen. (39 letters) (Used for font samples by the Macintosh, post-System 7)
  • Adjusting quiver and bow, Zompyc killed the fox.(39 letters)
  • My faxed joke won a pager in the cable TV quiz show. (39 letters)
  • The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. (33 letters)
  • Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. (32 letters) (Used for font samples by Beagle Bros)
  • Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz. (31 letters) (Used for bitmap font samples by Windows)
  • The five boxing wizards jump quickly. (31 letters)
  • How quickly daft jumping zebras vex. (30 letters)
  • Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack. (29 letters)
  • Quick wafting zephyrs vex bold Jim. (29 letters)
  • Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim. (29 letters)
  • Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow. (29 letters)
  • Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud. (28 letters)

Perfect pangrams

A pangram in which each letter occurs only once is the pinnacle of the pangram game. This is difficult to achieve without resorting to obscure words and proper nouns; note that purists disapprove of using initials.


  • Blowzy night-frumps vex'd Jack Q.
  • Glum Schwartzkopf vex'd by NJ IQ.
  • New job: fix Mr. Gluck's hazy TV, PDQ! (includes 5 punctuation symbols)
  • Squdgy fez, blank jimp crwth vox! (created by Claude Shannon)
  • Frowzy things plumb vex'd Jack Q.
  • J. Q. Vandz struck my big fox whelp.
  • Quartz glyph job vex'd cwm finks.
  • Phlegms fyrd wuz qvint jackbox.
  • Zing, vext cwm fly jabs Kurd qoph.
  • Cwm fjord bank glyphs vext quiz.
  • Jumbling vext frowzy hacks PDQ. (all words in high school dictionary)
  • Mr. Jock, TV Quiz Ph.D, bags few lynx.

Other languages

All letters

  • Danish:
    • Quizdeltagerne spiste jordbr med flde, mens cirkusklovnen Walther spillede p xylofon
      • The quiz participants ate strawberry with cream while the circus clown Walther played on the xylophone
  • Dutch:
    • Sexy qua lijf, doch bang voor 't zwempak
      • Sexy by body, though scared by the swimsuit
    • Pa's wijze lynx bezag vroom het fikse aquaduct
      • Dad's wise lynx piously observed the formidable aquaduct.
  • Finnish:
    • (A perfect pangram which doesn't include characters only found in foreign or loanwords (b, c, f, q, w, x, z, )): Trkylempij vongahdus
      • Excessive lover, a wooing.
  • French:
    • Portez ce whisky au vieux juge blond qui fume
      • Go take this whisky to the old blond judge who is smoking
  • German
    • (no umlauts or ): Sylvia wagt quick den Jux bei Pforzheim
    • (no umlauts or ): Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern
      • Franz chases in the completely shabby cab straight through Bavaria
    • (with umlauts and ): Zwlf Boxkmpfer jagten Victor quer ber den groen Sylter Deich
      • Twelve box fighters chased Victor across the great dam of Sylt
    • (with umlauts and , each letter exactly once): "Fix, Schwyz!" qukt Jrgen bld vom Pa
      • "Quick, Schwyz!" Jrgen squawks zanily from the pass
  • Esperanto:
    • Laŭ Ludoviko Zamenhof bongustas freŝa ĉeĥa manĝaĵo kun spicoj
      • According to Ludwig Zamenhof, fresh Czech food with spices tastes good
  • Hebrew:
    • דג סקרן שט בים מאוכזב ולפתע מצא לו חברה איך הקליטה ?
  • Icelandic:
    • Kmi n xi hr ykist jfum n bi vl og drepa
  • Italian:
    • "Ma la volpe col suo balzo ha raggiunto il quieto Fido"
      • but the fox with his leap has reached the quiet Fido (without the foreign letters j, k, w, x, and y)
    • "Quel vituperabile xenofobo zelante assaggia il whisky ed esclama: alleluja!
      • that blameworthy and zealous xenophobe tastes his whisky and says: Alleluja!
  • Japanese:
    • Iroha
      • (Constructing a short Japanese pangram is easy, since essentially all characters contain vowel sounds. Constructing a perfect Japanese pangram, however, is slightly more difficult because of the sheer number of characters; Japanese has over one hundred basic graphemes, or kana (including digraphs). The poem called the Iroha is a perfect Japanese pangram when considering only the basic, unmodified characters of its syllabary.)
  • Lithuanian:
    • Įlinkdama fechtuotojo špaga sublykčiojusi pragręžė apvalų arbūzą
      • Incurving fencer sword sparkled and perforated a round watermelon
  • Lojban:
    • .o'i mu xag,ji sofybakni cu zvati le purdi
      • Watch out, five hungry Soviet-cows are in the garden!
  • Norwegian
    • Vr sre Zulu fra badeya spilte jo whist og quickstep i min taxi.
      • Our strange Zule from the bathing Island did actually play whist and quickstep im my cab.
  • Polish:
    • (each letter exactly once) Pjdźże, kiń tę chmurność w głąb flaszy
      • Come on, drop your sadness into the depth of a bottle
  • Portuguese:
    • Gazeta publica hoje no jornal uma breve nota de faxina na quermesse
      • The journalists publish today at the newspaper a short note about the cleaning at the kirmiss
  • Russian:
    • (without ъ) В чащах юга жил бы цитрус? Да, но фальшивый экземпляр!
      • Would a citrus live in the bushes of south? Yes, but only a fake one!
    • (each letter exactly once) Эх, чужак! Общий съём цен шляп (юфть)—вдрызг!
      • Eh, alien! The general takings from prices of hats (made from a thick leather) are absolutely crashed!
    • (each letter exactly once) Экс-граф? Плюш изъят. Бьём чуждый цен хвощ!
      • Ex-count? Plush is confiscated. Fight against the horsetail that is alien to prices!
  • Slovene:
    • Šerif bo za vajo spet kuhal domače žgance
      • For an exercise, sheriff will again make home-made mush
  • Spanish:
    • (with ) Jovenzuelo empozoado de whisky, qu figurota exhibes!
      • Youth poisoned with whisky, what a figure you are making!
    • (with and diacritics) El veloz murcilago hind coma feliz cardillo y kiwi. La cigea tocaba el saxofn detrs del palenque de paja
      • The quick Hindu bat ate happy golden thistle and kiwi. The stork played the saxophone behind the straw arena.
  • Swedish:
    • Flygande bckasiner ska hwila p mjuka tuvor. (lacks q, x and z)
      • Flying snipes seek rest on soft tufts [of grass]
    • "Yxskaftbud, ge vr wczonm iqhjlp"
      • Axe handle messenger, give our WC zone maiden IQ help

Only letters with diacritical marks

A variant tries to make a word or phrase containing at least all letters with diacritical marks:

  • Czech: Přliš žluťoučk kůň pěl ďbelsk dy ("a very yellow horse screamed hellish odas")
  • Esperanto: Eĥoŝanĝo ĉiuĵaŭde ("echo change every Thursday")
  • German: Heizlrckstoabdmpfung ("fuel oil recoil absorber")
  • Hungarian: rvztűrő tkrfrgp ("flood-proof mirror-drilling machine")
  • Icelandic: Svr grt an v lpan var nt ("Svr cried earlier because the jacket was ruined")
  • Polish: Zażłć gęślą jaźń ("make your mind yellow with instrument")
  • Swedish: Rksmrgs ("shrimp sandwich")
  • Norwegian: Blbrse ("Blueberry scoop")

Self-enumerating pangrams

A particularly interesting kind of pangram arose from some verbal horseplay between Douglas Hofstadter, an AI researcher and writer for Scientific American, Rudy Kousbroek, a Dutch linguist and essayist, and Lee Sallows, a British electronics engineer and all-round word virtuoso. Hofstadter posed the problem of sentences that describe themselves, prompting Sallows to devise the following: "Only the fool would take trouble to verify that his sentence was composed of ten a's, three b's, four c's, four d's, forty-six e's, sixteen f's, four g's, thirteen h's, fifteen i's, two k's, nine l's, four m's, twenty-five n's, twenty-four o's, five p's, sixteen r's, forty-one s's, thirty-seven t's, ten u's, eight v's, eight w's, four x's, eleven y's, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens and, last but not least, a single !". Kousbroek published a Dutch equivalent, which spurred Sallows, who lives in the Netherlands and reads the paper where Kousbroek writes his essays, to think harder about this problem in order to solve it more generally. Initial attempts to write a program for this came to naught, but after a while he decided to construct a dedicated piece of hardware, the Pangram Machine. This accepts a description of the initial sentence fragment, and tries to fill in the blanks.

Uses of pangrams

Pangrams are used for a number of purposes other than games. For example, the pangram The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog was developed by Western Union to test Telex/TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability. Also, like the lorem ipsum text, pangrams are often used to display how a certain font will appear.

External links

de:Pangramm eo:Cxiuliterajxo fr:Pangramme pl:Pangram sl:Pangram sv:Pangram

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