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The Question:

I've always thought that the only sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet was "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Is there another one?

The Answer:

A sentence using all the letters in the alphabet is called a pangram (from the Greek for "every letter"). "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is the most famous pangram, but there are many others. My favorite may be "the five boxing wizards jump quickly," which is four letters shorter.

A self-descriptive pangram by Lee Sallows goes as follows: "This pangram lists four a's, one b, one c, two d's, twenty-nine e's, eight f's, three g's, five h's, eleven i's, one j, one k, three l's, two m's, twenty-two n's, fifteen o's, one p, one q, seven r's, twenty-six s's, nineteen t's, four u's, five v's, nine w's, two x's, four y's, and one z."

A fun novel that deals with both pangrams and lipograms (writing without one or more specific letters) is Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn.

Here are more links at infoplease.com that might help you answer English language questions:

—The Editors


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