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Old 07-21-2005, 11:32 AM
Nature's Call Nature's Call is offline
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What's the shortest sentence that uses all letters?

Our typing teacher introduced us to "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" because it is a sentence that has all the letters of the alphabet. Useful, that, in a typing class.

But what inefficiency! Redundant D, H, R, T. Coupla Us. Four Es! Four Os!

C'mon, we can do better, can't we?
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:34 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Mr. Jock, T.V. Quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx (26)
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:35 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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'Mr Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx.' Uses all letters once.
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:35 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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One more...Arguably, the best sentence without resorting to weird syntax and abbreviations is the following, two letters shorter than "quick brown fox":

The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
  #5  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:36 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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D'oh!
  #6  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:37 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Best I can do is 27:

"I said 'bcefghjklmnopqrtuvwxyz'"
  #7  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:37 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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Cecil's column on W as a vowel contains a couple of pangrams--sentences with each letter used only once.
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:39 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Oh, that was pretty silly of me; here's 26:

"he said 'bcfgjklmnopqrtuvwxyz'"
  #9  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:57 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
Mr. Jock, T.V. Quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx (26)
This is the only panagram I've ever seen that doesn't need an explaination to make sense.
  #10  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:00 PM
Nature's Call Nature's Call is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
This is the only panagram I've ever seen that doesn't need an explaination to make sense.
I'm with Annie. I mean, cwm on - those pangrams (new word for me) in Cecil's article are so tortured Amnesty International has gotten involved.

I like the jumping wizards improvements too.
  #11  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:03 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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Jackdaws love my big sphynx of quartz.

Damn, 31 letters.
  #12  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:06 PM
Perderabo Perderabo is offline
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TV quiz drag nymphs blew JFK cox.
  #13  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Many, many pangram sites on the Internet.
  #14  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:21 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature's Call
Our typing teacher introduced us to "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" because it is a sentence that has all the letters of the alphabet. Useful, that, in a typing class.

But what inefficiency! Redundant D, H, R, T. Coupla Us. Four Es! Four Os!

C'mon, we can do better, can't we?
Sure, for a start your sentence lacks the letter s
Secondly, two thes are redundant.

A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. There, that's better.


but for a shorter sentence try :
Waltz, bud nymph, for quick jigs vex [28]
  #15  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:27 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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The way I heard it is

Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud.

One extra "i" and one extra "u", but not bad.
  #16  
Old 07-21-2005, 01:03 PM
yanceylebeef yanceylebeef is offline
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Nitpick:
[QUOTE=Nature's Call]Our typing teacher introduced us to "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" because it is a sentence that has all the letters of the alphabet. Useful, that, in a typing class.

Where is the "S"?

I had always typed it as "The quick sly fox jumped over the lazy brown dog."


Nit Picked.
  #17  
Old 07-21-2005, 01:25 PM
wolf_meister wolf_meister is offline
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[nitpick answer]
It should be :
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
[/nitpick answer]
  #18  
Old 07-21-2005, 01:40 PM
wolf_meister wolf_meister is offline
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Here's my entry:
Quiz jinxed forgivable whacky tramps.
32 letters - but only 5 words.

Granted, it is not the smoothest construction and it almost reads like a headline.
However, it does not have to resort to using the Medieval Magyar-Croation slang word for soup ladle.

I'm wondering if a 4 word sentence could be constructedthe if the word "unforgivable" is used?

Yes, the word "uncopyrightable" uses half the alphabet, but its use in a short sentence would seem extremely contrived. ("Uncopyrightable vixens" - that sort of thing.) Then again, "Unforgivable vixens" shows promise. Hmmmmm ....
  #19  
Old 07-21-2005, 01:48 PM
Nature's Call Nature's Call is offline
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It's a refreshing feeling, to be free of nits - having this one freshly picked

Thanks wolf_meister, yanceylebeef, and Peter Morris!

I love this board!
  #20  
Old 07-21-2005, 01:51 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I remember a couple from Ripley's Believe it or Not. The first cheats with initials, but it's only 26 letters:

D.V. Pike Flung J.Q. Scwartz my Box


The next doesn't cheat, but is comprehensible:


Jackdaws Love my Big Sphinx of Quartz


all the 26-letter "non-cheating" ones I've heard of are incomprehensible, using very weird words.
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  #21  
Old 07-21-2005, 02:12 PM
Corii Corii is offline
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In the book Ella Minnow Pea the one they came up with was, IIRC, "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs".
  #22  
Old 07-21-2005, 02:15 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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All this time I thought foxes were red...
  #23  
Old 07-21-2005, 02:15 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Quote:
In the book Ella Minnow Pea the one they came up with was, IIRC, "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs".
That one was in Ripley's, too.
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  #24  
Old 07-21-2005, 02:19 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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There's gotta be a way to do this with Mxyzptlk if proper names are allowed.
  #25  
Old 07-21-2005, 05:09 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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The book Ella Minnow Pea, which Corii already mentioned, is a lot of fun. If you like this kind of word game, give it a read. It's in the form of letters being written from a country where letters are being banned one-by-one as various tiles fall off of a statue. The premise is silly, but the book is a kick, and the author is extremely talented--just try writing a chapter of a book in English using only half the letters in the alphabet!
  #26  
Old 07-21-2005, 05:45 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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And let us not forget Big Bird's song from Sesame Street, "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ".

Big Bird pronounced it "Abca defghee Jekyll muh-nop quer stuve wix iz", because he thought it was a word and not the alphabet, you see.
  #27  
Old 08-28-2014, 05:52 AM
MeatPies MeatPies is offline
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1 Letter Difference!

The quick brown fox JUMPS over the lazy dog. Ha! Beat That!
  #28  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:02 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Nine years late to the party, and that's the best you can come up with?
  #29  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:03 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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The dog and fox have both been dead for years now
  #30  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:39 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
The dog and fox have both been dead for years now
No; I think that omits C, I, J, K, L, M, P, Q, U, X and Z
  #31  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:16 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
Nine years late to the party, and that's the best you can come up with?
And also mentioned multiple times in the thread.
  #32  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:17 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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And I'll just note that a pangram is any sentence that contains all 26 letters, even if it has extras. A minimal pangram is a pangram that has each letter exactly once.
  #33  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:19 AM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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In the Guinness Book of World Records:

Quartz glyph job vex'd cwm finks

Last edited by dougie_monty; 08-28-2014 at 11:20 AM.
  #34  
Old 08-28-2014, 12:11 PM
bizerta bizerta is offline
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Here's a variation that I remember reading about several years ago: All the letters must be in alphabetical (or reverse alphabetical) order. That is, the last "F" in the sentence must be preceded by at least one "E". The last "S" in the sentence must have at least one "A" through "R" before it. To put this another way, write all the letters "A" through "Z" down. Then insert as few letters as necessary to make this a coherent sentence.
  #35  
Old 08-28-2014, 05:32 PM
Damfino Damfino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougie_monty View Post
In the Guinness Book of World Records:

Quartz glyph job vex'd cwm finks
Guinness Book of Records 1974 edition : "cwm-fjord bank glyphs vext quiz" 26 letters. Headline stating that inscriptions in a mountain valley irritate an eccentric philosopher.
  #36  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:00 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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My favourite (for sounding more or less natural) was "New job: fix Mr. Gluck's hazy TV, PDQ!"
  #37  
Old 08-29-2014, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeatPies View Post
The quick brown fox JUMPS over the lazy dog. Ha! Beat That!
The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.
  #38  
Old 08-03-2016, 12:09 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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At a loose end: feel moved to risk reviving this two-year-old zombie, hoping not to be come down on like a ton of bricks for so doing.

Sentences using all 26 letters of the alphabet, each one just once: the problem with this, is to come up with something not horribly stilted and tortured. In all this thread so far, only two such strike me as “surviving that test”:

Mr. Jock, TV Quiz PhD., bags few lynx.

and

New job: fix Mr. Gluck’s hazy TV, PDQ !

Taking it that for this difficult exercise, initials / acronyms are allowed and unavoidable: I have such a sentence (not my invention, but seen long ago and never forgotten) which I feel elegantly, and fairly meaningfully, uses each-letter-just-once. It involves a British abbreviation in the realm of the legal profession: QC (Queen’s Counsel).

Jump, dogs ! Why vex Fritz Blank, QC?
  #39  
Old 08-03-2016, 01:43 PM
Dead Cat Dead Cat is offline
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One minimal pangram not mentioned so far is the following:

Qwyk bitch vox jumps glaz'd fern

Courtesy of wordsmith Peter Newby, who intended it to be understandable without explanation. Granted it uses an archaic spelling and an apostrophe, so it's no better than the others I guess. But the nice thing about it is its relative similarity to the canonical "quick brown fox" sentence.
  #40  
Old 08-03-2016, 02:19 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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Well, yes – especially, as you intimate, if one is a fan of quick foxes. And this one does indeed avoid initials / acronyms. I personally, though, find it rather “twisted and tormented”. An ongoing oppositional thing in all wordplay of this kind – “ingenuity; versus to what degree of making sense /actually inhabiting this planet”.

I once got into a bit of an altercation with a work colleague, about palindromes. I proudly submitted a very long and cunningly-crafted one (I hasten to add, not my own and not claimed to him as such) which in a roundabout and contorted way, did sort-of make sense. He pooh-poohed it, asserting that it was better to have this kind of stuff short, but saying something understandable and basically “right”; rather than long, and essentially “a load of rubbish” – he quoted in support, his favourite palindrome, “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” Feeling a bit nettled, I opined that that nine-word offering was hardly a gem of meaningful sense-making, either: anyone who has difficulty visually distinguishing a car from a cat, must be either three-quarters blind or extremely stupid.

We cooled it, and agreed to disagree, before getting to the stage of setting about each other with fists; it’s maybe useful to reflect that the very large number of the world’s population who are not great wordplay enthusiasts, would consider those who are same -- to the point of tempers getting heated about such stuff – highly “sad” and in need of getting lives.
  #41  
Old 08-03-2016, 03:31 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Perhaps we could see the word "Cat" as short for Caterpillar (NYSE symbol CAT), a maker of distinctive farm tractors.

Don't knock it, Lamborghini makes tractors ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 08-03-2016 at 03:32 PM.
  #42  
Old 08-03-2016, 05:06 PM
Tibby or Not Tibby Tibby or Not Tibby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
There's gotta be a way to do this with Mxyzptlk if proper names are allowed.
Well, if we're allowing names, I submit my ex-soviet agent urologist, KGB Xanthus Q. Frolypcevjiwz MD
  #43  
Old 08-03-2016, 05:53 PM
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I don't think anybody mentioned this above, but the reason for "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back" was because it also contained exactly the number of keystrokes on a standard typewriter between the conventional margins. They knew they could make it shorter, but they wanted to be able to test a machine for all letters and for spacing as well. But I can't find a cite to confirm that.
  #44  
Old 08-03-2016, 06:18 PM
RadicalPi RadicalPi is offline
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My favorite is: "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs," which is not the shortest, but it is shorter than "lazy dog."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I don't think anybody mentioned this above, but the reason for "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back" was because it also contained exactly the number of keystrokes on a standard typewriter between the conventional margins. They knew they could make it shorter, but they wanted to be able to test a machine for all letters and for spacing as well. But I can't find a cite to confirm that.
Do you have a cite for this?
  #45  
Old 08-03-2016, 11:30 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I don't think anybody mentioned this above, but the reason for "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back" was because it also contained exactly the number of keystrokes on a standard typewriter between the conventional margins. They knew they could make it shorter, but they wanted to be able to test a machine for all letters and for spacing as well. But I can't find a cite to confirm that.
I doubt this very much. Typewriter pitches were elite with 12 characters per inch and pica with 10 characters per inch. That sentence is 52 characters if I add a period to it. That would only take up 5.2 inches even for pica leaving left and right margins of 1.65 inches which has got to be wider than standard. Dissertations had the widest margins I ever heard of and they were only 1.5 inches.

Last edited by OldGuy; 08-03-2016 at 11:31 PM.
  #46  
Old 08-04-2016, 01:02 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
I doubt this very much. Typewriter pitches were elite with 12 characters per inch and pica with 10 characters per inch. That sentence is 52 characters if I add a period to it. That would only take up 5.2 inches even for pica leaving left and right margins of 1.65 inches which has got to be wider than standard. Dissertations had the widest margins I ever heard of and they were only 1.5 inches.
When I was a kid, we had a typewriter that typed 11 characters to the inch. I think they called it "picalite", and a google search on that finds this page that says it's a trademark of Brother Corporation.

Wish we still had it (or maybe my brother still does); I knew it was unusual at the time, but had no idea how unusual.
  #47  
Old 08-06-2016, 06:54 PM
susan susan is offline
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Just last week I worked "Jackdaws love my big sphynx of quartz" into conversation with someone where it was sufficiently related to what we were discussing that she didn't appear to find it an odd utterance (not to recognize a pangram).

Last edited by susan; 08-06-2016 at 06:55 PM.
  #48  
Old 08-08-2016, 01:12 PM
TheseGoToEleven TheseGoToEleven is offline
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I would love to hear more details on that conversation...
  #49  
Old 08-08-2016, 02:32 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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What's the shortest sentence that uses all letters?

Technically, "I am" is the shortest sentence I can think of that uses all letters if you don't count the period at the end. On the other hand, if you don't count punctuation, most sentences contain all letters.
  #50  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:11 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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As a side note, pangrams are useful as language games, typing practice, and, as I learned a few years ago, in American Sign Language finger spelling final exam prep.
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