The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

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The phrase shown in metal moveable type, used in printing presses. (Image is mirrored for readability.)

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is a pangram (a phrase that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet). It has been used to test typewriters and computer keyboards, and in other applications involving all of the letters in the English alphabet, because it is also a short coherent sentence. Because of its colloquialism, it is oftentimes used in the visual arts.


[edit] History

As the use of typewriters grew in the late 19th century, the phrase began appearing in typing and stenography lesson books as a practice sentence. Early examples of publications which utilized the phrase include Illustrative Shorthand by Linda Bronson (1888),[1] How to Become Expert in Typewriting: A Complete Instructor Designed Especially for the Remington Typewriter (1890), and Typewriting Instructor and Stenographer's Hand-book (1892).

By the turn of the century, the phrase had become widely known. In the January 10, 1903 issue of Pitman's Phonetic Journal, it is referred to as "the well known memorized typing line embracing all the letters of the alphabet".[2] Robert Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys (1908) uses the phrase as a practice sentence for signalling.[3]

[edit] Variations

The standard version of the pangrams has 35 letters which include all 26 of the letters of the English alphabet at least once. The letters h, r, t, and u are used twice, e three times, and o four times.

A few variations of this pangram exist, including "the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog", and "a quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". Each of these variations has 33 letters, compared to 35 in the original version. "the quick fox jumps over the lazy brown dog" also makes sense, particularly as foxes are not traditionally considered to be brown.

[edit] Usage in typography

This pangram is commonly used to display font samples and for testing computer microphones.

Examples of how the phrase is used in font display
The phrase used to display fonts in Kfontview The phrase used to compare common word-processor typefaces in OpenOffice

[edit] Usage in the visual arts

Due to the widespread knowledge of the phrase, and due to its comical nature, many artworks have been developed that pictorially depict the action of a fox jumping over a dog or a related variation of it. Dan Santat, creator of Disney Channel's The Replacements and children’s book author, has created a cartoon of the phrase on his blog.[1] Other instances of phrase-related artworks include a typography workshop flyer [2], a widespread clipart image [3], and a music CD cover. [4]. The May 9, 2008 issue of John Allen's the web-based comic Nest Heads features a child saying the phrase to a sleeping dog, in attempts to arouse him to play.[5] In the Disney movie The Fox and the Hound, there is a scene near the end where the fox is running fast and jumps over the lying-down hound, creating an in-context, non-contrived instance of the phrase.

Close variations are often created when the phrase is used in the arts. In the card game Magic: The Gathering, a "joke card" from the Unhinged series was created with a game-related variation of the phrase, "The quick onyx goblin jumps over the lazy dwarf."[6]. In the Peanuts comic strip for May 27, 1974, Snoopy writes “The quick brown fox jumps over the unfortunate dog” on his typewriter.[7]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Bronson, Linda Pennington (1888). Illustrative Shorthand. San Francisco. p. 76.,M1. 
  2. ^ "The Fox Typewriter". Pitman's Phonetic Journal. January 10, 1903. 
  3. ^ Baden-Powell, Robert (1908). Scouting for Boys. London: Pearson. 

[edit] External links

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