Love Letters: in Pursuit of Pangram Perfection

by Chris Hancock

In some of the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P G Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster (the narrator) apologises to his regular readership for having to go over some old facts (characters, events, relationships, etc.) for the benefit of new readers. I feel a bit like that now, as I’m about to explain what a pangram is… to an audience who – by being here in the first place – have already marked themselves out as word-lovers (I stop short of “wordnerds”). But explain it I must, just in case one or two of you would be nonplussed by the rest of the article.

A pangram, from the Greek “pan gramma”, meaning “every letter” is a sentence constructed using every letter of the alphabet at least once. Whilst not technically a requirement, usually some attempt is made to keep the sentence relatively short.

Far and away the most well-known example of a pangram is:

The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog

This is pretty impressive as it uses only 33 letters (the 7 duplicated letters are an A, an E, an R, a U and 3 Os).

 fox dog

As well as being linguistic curiosities, pangrams perform a useful role in displaying typefaces (in a more interesting way than a simple a-to-z representation) and also for typing practice, since they force the student to exercise every alphabetic key.

You might imagine pangrams to be a fairly recent novelty. But I came across a number of references to the well-known “Lorem ipsum…” typesetter’s and printer’s Latin sample text as being the first pangram. It dates back around 500 years and is still in use today. This is the standard passage, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

It seems to have been created from a somewhat-garbled fragment of a much earlier work: Cicero’s “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil), written in 45 BC. In its original form, it contains every letter in the Latin alphabet. But that alphabet only contains 23 characters; later versions used to display typefaces have had the remaining letters of the modern English alphabet added.

It runs over several sentences, fails the brevity test, but – hey, this is my article – I’m calling it a pangram.

Of course, there is no reason why this discussion of pangrams should be restricted to English. Pangrams have been created for many languages, for example, French:

Portez ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume

This translates as “Take this old whisky to the blond judge who’s smoking” – a phrase that crops up a lot in Parisian legal circles, I should imagine – and uses 37 letters.

Life gets more complicated with languages that have extended character sets, but here are a couple of examples (that avoid diacritical marks, etc.):

Dutch: Pa’s wijze lynx bezag vroom het fikse aquaduct (“Dad’s wise lynx piously observed the sturdy aqueduct”).

Portuguese: Um pequeno jabuti xereta viu dez cegonhas felizes (“A curious little tortoise saw ten happy storks”).

Sadly, these phrases are unlikely to come up in casual conversation.

“The quick brown fox…” dates back to the 19th century and its longevity can be put down to a perfect balance of two characteristics: it is concise, and it makes sense as a sentence. Not only does it make sense, it even provides a neat contrast between the “quick” fox and the “lazy” dog. Other pangrams have been devised which, though shorter, resort to various tricks such as arcane language, variant spellings, absence of connecting words, proper nouns and abbreviations. That said, human ingenuity (possibly augmented by computing power in places) has come up with many semi-meaningful examples. Here are my favourites of those shorter than “The quick brown fox…”, counting down from 32 alphabetic characters to 27:

32: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs

31: Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz

30: How quickly daft jumping zebras vex

29: Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack

28: Waltz, bad nymph, for quick jigs vex!

27: Big fjords vex quick waltz nymph

That countdown brings me neatly to the quest for the “perfect” pangram, one that uses only 26 alphabetic characters – each one only once. The perfect pangram was rather neatly defined as “an anagram of the alphabet”. Looking at the list from 32 to 27 characters, you might think there’s a chance that a good perfect pangram could be found. Sadly, I’d say “not yet” – or not without resorting to those tricks I mentioned. Here’s my selection of the best three:

Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx

Cwm fjord-bank glyphs vext quiz

[“Cwm” is a Welsh name for a valley; “vext” is an archaic form of “vexed”]

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

[“PDQ” stands for “Pretty Damn Quick”]

Perhaps reading these pangrams will inspire you to create one of your own. If so, you might want to use a handy online tool – the Pangrammer Helper 2.0. Type your sentence into the text box and it shows you which letters you haven’t yet utilised, together with counts of the letters you have used.

If you require further inspiration, Craig Eliason, a university professor in Minnesota, publishes a pangram every day and has done for several years.

Did researching these pangrams inspire me? Well, yes they did. I gave myself a realistic target. I didn’t think I could expect to come up with anything with 33 alphabetic characters or less. But coming up with a decent pangram proved to be harder than I’d imagined. Picture the scene:  me poring over a notepad with a pencil and rubber, alternately scribbling and rubbing out words and letters; me hunched over a table strewn with Scrabble tiles, endlessly arranging and rearranging. I was getting nowhere. I needed to go out for a gentle stroll to clear my thoughts. But even out in the fresh air, dawdling along, the 26 letters were swirling around in my head. Suddenly, the letters started forming into words before me. I had my pangram (36 letters, for those who’re counting) and I rushed home to proclaim the good news:

“By Jove! Lazy walk fixed Chris’ Pangram Quest.”

That Word Site’s editor was so inspired by these pangrams, they fiendishly created a Triple Pangram Crossword. The list of words used in the puzzle contains three-and-only-three of each consonant, together with 5 As, 9 Es, 10 Is, 5 Os and 7 Us.

The crossword is here

And the solution is here

Chris Hancock

About Chris Hancock

Chris Hancock (@cjhancock) is an IT consultant and dictionary enthusiast in the UK. He’s worked in Engineering and Computing since leaving University, all the time hoping that the post of Crossword Editor for “The Guardian” will come up. It hasn’t. Yet.


449 Responses to “Love Letters: in Pursuit of Pangram Perfection”

  1. Your French pangram is a doozy! Thanks as always for putting a smile on my face and some knowledge in my head.

  2. You had me at Bertie Wooster, but you knocked my socks off with your big ending! Fab!

  3. Oh what fun! An article that made me chuckle, and a crossword too! Thanks Chris Hancock!

  4. Hey Mr Hancock

    You don’t know me but you once liked something I wrote about T Rex. My mother helped me find this – I can see there’s lots more words I need to meet if I hope to be a real writer like you someday.

    Thanks for being a real inspiration.


    • Hi Chris! Yes – I *did* like those two paragraphs you wrote. I’m looking forward to seeing them again :-)
      Keep reading, always look up words you don’t know, and you can be a real writer. Good luck!

  5. I’m going to have to stop reading your articles because they make me feel completely inadequate.

    Kidding! I’ll just start telling strangers in bars I’m Chris Hancock.

  6. Oh I learned so much! This is brilliant! And you, good sir, are a genius.

  7. Hooray! Tea, toast, and Chris Hancock, what more could a woman want?

  8. I had no idea Lorem Ipsum meant anything! I’ll have to look at it with more respect now. Also more crosswords please!

  9. Lovely word puzzles, gorgeous mental images. Language is so beautiful, and you such an artist with it.

  10. Is this a good enough reason for me to get ‘Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs’ as a tattoo?

  11. Oh Chris you do please me. I want more columns! And more crosswords! And a book!

  12. By Jove! Chris’ pangram article makes my day. Not a pangram, just true.

  13. Very brill exotic writer quips and dazzles, making Fisher jolly happy. (I’m crap at pangrams)

  14. Zounds! What artistry! Quiver, fall back, jump with glee! Excellent.

  15. Chris you are amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

  16. Are you aware of alphabetical pangrams? All consonants in alphabetical order? They’re fairly nonsensical though. Brilliant article, and superb work on the crossword.

  17. Exquisite work on ze pangram building, Chris. Very jolly fun.

  18. Squeal! So happy. Must go show this to everyone I know!

  19. Quivering jellyfish, zippy work on exacting challenge, bloody good man!

  20. Is Latin English then? LOL! Nice work, any idea when this kind of wordplay became popular?

    • Ha! No, Latin isn’t English, Dianne, but they share the same character set (as opposed to Greek, for example). I’m not sure when pangrams became popular. “The quick brown fox…” seems to date back to 1885 and I think there’s been steady interest since then. Thank you for your kind comment :-)

    • Doh! I am so stupid. Yes, I say “no reason why this discussion of pangrams should be restricted to English” just after the Latin example. Sorry for such a meaningless reply, Dianne :-)

  21. When do you start your ‘how to impress people with words’ classes?

  22. If you have a pangram in a language with numerous accents, would each count?

    • An interesting technical point, and one I ducked in my article. Heh! Life would get complicated if French pangrams had to have e, e acute, e grave and e dieresis. Let’s not go there, Shyann 😉

  23. Part of me wants to say ‘but why’. The rest of me wants to have your linguistic babies.

  24. Oh yes. Yes yes.

  25. I can’t see any practical application. Write about words that make a difference.

    • I take your point up to a point, Eleanor. But – call me conceited – I like to think articles like this inspire people to take pleasure in words. And who knows where that might lead?

      • Apart from the love of letters and word play, you point to the practicality – we learned these as typing exercises. And wordplay stretches your brain.

  26. Oh hooray! Fun article and still the crossword to do!

  27. That ending deserves applause.


  28. my hubby knows to leav the room when I’m reading a chris hancock now lol

  29. Breathtaking pangram skills Chris! Very impressive!

  30. Love it! Now wrote that book PDQ!

  31. Yes, my Chris fix!

  32. When the wordnerds rise up, will you and Ms Jeynes be our king and queen? Please?

  33. So much clever in one article!

  34. You are a constant source of inspiration. This site is stupendous.

  35. I daren’t even attempt in Greek, but thanks for beautiful article. Words are magic.

  36. Lovely article, so much food for thought.

  37. Your wordplay is wonderful and it feels like you’re smiling at me.

  38. One day I’ll write a brilliant pangram and come put it here. It may take years.

  39. This brightened my day! And I’m loving the crossword.

  40. I’m going to be spouting these instead of swearing from now on!

  41. You are glorious.

  42. I’m immensely impressed by your ingenuity (but my personal limit is alliteration) x

  43. Bravo! Oh that build up was tremendous!

  44. Extreme Wordplay. Yes, I love letters.

  45. Hooray! Happy Chris article time! X

  46. Stunning! New bookmark added.

  47. I don’t kno where you get you ideas but keep them coming pls Chris!

  48. When you have your merchandise, you’ll do pangram mugs right?

  49. Amazingness!!

  50. Having had a bash with that pangram helper, and am now completely in awe of your skills. This pangram shizz is hard! Wow!

  51. You are da man, Chris

  52. I’m stunned by your skill

  53. This is your best yet, and you set the bar high!!

  54. You are such a unique writer, always surprising me. Carry on :-)

  55. I love a man who knows how to finish big

  56. Excellent work, pangram man

  57. Wow. Another topic I had no idea I’d love until *you* wrote aboutit.

  58. Poor dogs, such a bad rep 😉

  59. Got an email saying “Hancock goes mega this week!!” It was correct. Thank you!

  60. You just edged out David Mitchell as my favourite columnist.

  61. Stunning piece no wonder everyone’s going apeshit about the site that makes wordnerds cool.

  62. Write on, dude

  63. I know people keep saying it, but what a contrast from gory news, cheap tabloids, and whiny columns where people think we care about their daily gripes. Here’s to interesting, funny, and new.

  64. Any idea when “pangram” became a word? Love that we have a word for this!

  65. Awesome, now I have something to do tonight! Pangrams here we come!

  66. You win the internet

  67. My husband proposed with a pangram (we’re nerdy typographers):

    Quite in love with your beguiling face and zesty mind. Marry me. Please? Jack

  68. Junior school cursive flashbacks! Lol!

  69. Gosh, hat started you on this quest? Whatever it was, I hope that muse stays with you!

  70. It should be marketed as a wordnerd cure. Got a headache? Take a pangram, guaranteed to make you smile!

  71. I fear I am too nerdy :-( as I now MUST FIND two pangrams that are anagrams of each other!

  72. Reading this was my best homework assignment ever, thanks Mrs G! And thanks to you Mr H

    • Wow! Is Mrs G your English teacher, Greg? She sounds like one of the best! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

    • Yeah, she’s pretty awesome. She often gets us to look at your site, every month we have to choose our favorite word from it and stuff. But this is particularly rad. I get to use judges and whisky in my homework assignment.

  73. Hey, where else do you write? Googled you but kept coming back here! Would love to read more.

  74. Oh dear. I fear my OCD may have just met its nemesis.

  75. You are legen … Wait for it …. Dary!

  76. Loving this wordnerd vibe, do you think I could fake it as one? I know big words.Um…camembert?

  77. But then how will I know your opinions on Kim Kardashian and Obama and other pressing issues? LOL! Love your writing. Do more.

  78. Oh come now Chris, you’re just making the rest of us blokes who think we’re clever when we manage a little anagram look bad! I wonder where that other guy’s pubs are, maybe I can take a different city? A Chris Hancock in every town.

  79. Do your business cards say “The Ever Delightful Chris Hancock, Wordsmith”? They should.

  80. I find it rather odd that some people are asking about a purpose. Is there a purpose to rainbows? Surely the whole purpose of this website is, as it claims, to be a home for wordnerds – whom I would have thought would revel in wordplay, and realise that the enquiring mind, and the ability to play with words, will seep into every aspect of life and have positive effects? Excellent as always, Mr Hancock, keep up the good work, bloody hell don’t start with those practical “Ten Rules of Sentence Construction” business writing bull articles, else I shall have to find electronic eggs to hurl at your screen.

    • Heh! Well, those articles have their place. But that’s not what we’re about here at “That Word Site” Towers, Davis. Your electronic eggs can stay safely in their electronic egg-box :-)

  81. Having read your piece, I felt the need to jump up and go and tell my daughter all about pangrams. She thinks I’m nuts. Nothing new there then.

  82. You sure know how to string those words together, Mr Hancock. Always a pleasure, reading you.

  83. I see you’re just as tasty as ever.

  84. I don’t think I could ever come close to your brilliance, so I won’t attempt a pangram, just say good job sir.

    • Did you follow the link to that guy’s Daily Pangram page, Jason? Some of his are quite long. But there’s something about having every letter that makes them quirky and interesting. Thanks!

  85. fun piece thanks!

  86. Gosh, i felt a bit breathless having followed that to its conclusion, but I’m glad I did!

  87. I adore your mind. I know you’re married, but do you have a brother just like you?

  88. I laughed and laughed, and then realised I could read it again and laugh some more. FANTASTIC.

  89. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. I wondered what those things were about, but then you put all the info together, and, you know, EXPLAINED it. Can you tell me about the offside rule too?

  90. funnest read of the day

  91. Oooooh…did you just think of the pangram, and then write the article to fit? Hee hee, loved it.

    • Shh!! Don’t give all my secrets away, Alli! Heh! It wasn’t quite like that but, once I’d decided to write an article on pangrams, I knew I needed something decent to finish it. Thanks for your kind words :-)

  92. Your eg with 29 letters also contains a leaping fox. Do typographers look at foxes much? They’re not known for jumping :-)

  93. If pangram means every letter what does anagram mean?

    • That’s a good question, Nancy. The prefix ana- comes from Greek and (according to my dictionary) is used to mean “back”. But anagrams aren’t “back words”. I guess some words will have to stay a mystery.

  94. Awesome wordnerdery dude.

  95. Totally loved this, had to phone hubby at work and order him to read it too. Have instructed him to write me a pangram like the proposal in your comments.

  96. Flippin eck, the things you can do with words, eh? Emphasis on YOU.

  97. I have always restrained myself from commenting, but could no longer: you are superlative. I shall worship you from afar.

    • That’s very kind of you, Ainslie. Don’t restrain from commenting. As you can see – like the fool I am – I’ve made it my business to reply to everyone who takes an interest in these articles :-)

  98. This may be a silly question, but is there a longest non-pangram? I think i read about a book with no letter r, or something like that. Which to my mind may be taking the word play a little to the extremes!

  99. is the word pangram sounding a little silly to you now? it is me, having read through all those comments. Pangram…pangram…

  100. FBed my friend “have you read the new Hancock” only to open an email from her saying “oooooh look pangrams”. :-)

  101. I suspect you could write about semicolons and still leave me feeling happier about the world.

  102. The crossword was the cherry on top of this delicious concoction, love when you add the wordsearches or these. Bonus. But the article is solid excellence.

    • Thanks, Stu. It’s a good point. If an article lends itself to a crossword or wordsearch, we’ll try to put one in. After all, those that just like the article can always ignore the link.

  103. You intrigued me, entertained me, informed me, and captivated me.

  104. I’m so using the liquor jugs for my next font design. Flippen A.

  105. Can’t tell if you really love all the comments or are secretly hating each of us as you have to reply, but damn, I can tell you I love your articles!

  106. *ahem* my teenage cousin recommended I read “this cool article on pogroms”…at least he was right about the cool bit.

  107. Chris Hancock: Word Wizard

  108. Really great stuff here, followed all the links for a merry hour of word wonderment.

  109. You are officially now my Word Guy. i shall come here for all my wordy problems. I hope you have, erm, nothing else to do…

  110. Fab fab fun happy piece.

  111. Oh wow, you really do continue to amaze and delight, always a pleasure reading your words.

  112. Excellent, so much to learn and enjoy

  113. Go on, just between us…which is your favourite pangram in the article?

    • Oof! That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child, Carol (the one on the left… whatsisname)

      Putting “The quick brown fox…” to one side, I think – because it reads like a normal sentence – it’s got to be “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs”. Which is yours?

  114. A man, a pangram, an article…PANGRAMMA (I don’t know either I may be drunk)

  115. That building up to a crescendo was beautifully done.

  116. Serious Fan over here.

  117. I really did enjoy this, I must say I found the “foreign” examples somehow more musical than ours – perhaps they sound as “awkward” in their languages to mothertongue speakers. Gorgeous piece, ta!

  118. I’m off to France next week, and that sentence is the only French I’m going to learn.

  119. Best bedtime story ever.

  120. I’m going to have to find someone to impress with pangrams for a while!

  121. Someone wrote a book without an e? I can’t even write a comment without it!

  122. Your so clever!

  123. Finally the obsession with that fox explained.

  124. Wow you’re amazing.

  125. Oh my goodness. This blows my mind. Is there an upper length limit? At some point it must just become ‘prose’?

    • I suppose if you take a long enough piece of text, you’re bound to have a pangram, Sylvie. Interestingly, people have searched for what is called a “pangrammatic window” – a piece of natural prose that just happens to contain all 26 letters. One of the shortest is from a 1912 novel: “I sang, and thought I sang very well; but he just looked up into my face with a very quizzical expression”. It starts with the “g” in the second “sang” and ends with the “x” in expression, 56 letters in length.

      Some people have too much time on their hands 😉

  126. You’re totes my new language guru.

  127. Once went to a ‘leadership seminar’ where the oke running it used the fox sentence then kept screaming ‘are you a fox or a dog?’ at us.

  128. I expected to snort my way through this, but actually I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  129. Mr Hancock, you’re my kind of writer.

  130. Take me to bed and whisper sweet pangrams to me!

  131. Apart from this site, what would you recommend online for fledgling wordnerds?

    • Gosh, Erika. Well I wouldn’t want to point you towards the “opposition” 😉 It depends on the sort of thing you’re after. I suppose you could search for “word games” on Google, but discussion of words like we do is probably a bit harder to find.

  132. Whenever I see Latin I feel I ought to say ‘amen’

  133. You’re like a funnier more interesting less depressed Will Self.

  134. I am enchanted by your words, thank you!

  135. Oooh, Chris. My my, a whole impression of you.

  136. Thank you for taking me on this linguistic journey with you, it was most delightful.

  137. Guess what my students are doing today? Pangrams!

  138. Beautiful piece!

  139. Loved reading all your pieces, and enjoyed the crossword. But above all, wanted to say you’ve got a great way with words.

  140. You’re a sterling writer.

  141. Lovely to find this treasure garden of delight!

  142. You’re a bright dash of colour in the mehness of the internet.

  143. Not sure I can take seriously a nerd who doesn’t know Big Bang Theory 😉

  144. I’m a great admirer Chris. One of many, clearly.

  145. Very happy having read that.

  146. Oh write for us every day, do!

  147. Where do I get my ‘Hancock Rulez OK’ clubcard?

  148. Hello Mr Hancock

    I can see how many people write to tell you they love you, and I just wanted to say you’ve brought some twinkle to this old bird’s eye with your lovely articles and thoughtful replies.

    Thank you

  149. Thanks for the link, and congratulations on a very strong debut!

  150. I’m so daft, I didn’t get your title until right at the end of the whole thing, then I was like Oh, love LETTERS.

  151. Are there other similar kinds of wordplay – other somethinggrams? Adored this piece, and adore you!

    • Well, there are anagrams, obviously. Clever ones like “Astronomers = Moon Starers”. And lipograms, which are stories that omit one or more letters of the alphabet. As I mentioned in the comments above, “Gadsby” is a 50,000 word novel that doesn’t use the letter “e”. Amazing! This link should take you to the first chapter to give you a flavour: Hope that helps, Andie :-)

  152. Simply splendid, but you always are, aren’t you?

  153. Delightful! You have a new subscriber – or several, if these comments are a guide!

  154. May your fingers always be filled with energy, your brain always with ideas, and your heart always with the knowledge the wordnerds love you.

  155. I wonder how much a pangram weighs? (Sorry)

  156. Excellent, fabu.

  157. How very democratic!

  158. I want to just bottle your enthusiasm for words and spray it all over my students!

  159. High Five on that pangram dude.

  160. A perfect example of how to tackle a niche topic and make us all care. Bravo!

  161. I love the thought of the first guy who made a pangram running around telling everyone “Look! I made this short pithy sentence with every letter of the alphabet!” and everyone else just not caring. I hope that guy knows the wordnerds of the future are grateful.

  162. I have absolutely no recollection of how I got to your article, but I’m glad the link breadcrumb trail lead me here, and I plan to stay and explore a bit :)

    • That’s great, Mandy! Can I suggest you follow the “More articles by Chris Hancock” links at the end of the article (above the comments)? But there’s lots of good stuff by other authors in the site. Thanks! :-)

  163. I’m somewhat bemused at the fact that there’s an online pangrammer helper – who’d have thought that was a niche that needed filling! But it is lots and lots of fun…

  164. LOL at your sexy reply to the horny lady in the comments! Those darn zebra!

  165. Quiz: exactly what would be the point of serving up a junky pangram?

  166. Wow, that fox is getting on! Amazed he’s still such a jumper.

  167. Had a go with that thingy, it’s amazing how few words use x. I kept reverting to sex :-(

  168. They do get a bit desperate as they get shorter, don’t they? Well done on yours though, that’s rocking.

  169. EXCELLENT. That’s a partial pangram, right there. And also the truth.

  170. hey sexy, howz about you and me prove just how quickly friendships grow?

  171. Can’t believe people even make spelling and grammar mistakes on this site’s comments. I’d never do hat 😉

  172. I’m so amazed right now that I just read an Engish pedant article and laughed my socks off and subscribed. WHAT HAVE I BECOME?

  173. I have so many questions: presumably in order to create a pangram sentence we must agree on what a sentence is? Is there more value in a single sentence pangram than one over a few sentences? Is ‘value’ in sense, or humour, or our intangible sense of rightness?

  174. Another great addition to your wealth of work

  175. A pangram containing ‘pangram’ must have a special name. Russian doll pangram? :-)

  176. Fab, wow, mindbending stuff.

  177. Reading your comments on other pieces, I see you started writing just for this site. God bless this site then!

  178. You explain vext and make me look up ‘glyphs’! Great article.

  179. Sometimes I wonder if my parents were trying to have pangrammatic kids.

    • Ooh! That’s an interesting thought, Llyle. Can we make a pangram from a list of recognisable first names? What would require the least number of letters? What would require the least number of names? Hmm…

  180. My father used to say ‘English is a puzzle with 26 pieces and a million pictures’.

  181. Did you really do the scrabble letters thing? Sounds kinda fun.

    • I did, but soon gave up, Darshan. It might have worked for a perfect pangram, where you’d know you only needed 26 tiles. I wish I’d known about the Pangrammatic Helper (see article) when I started.

  182. My siblings and I:

    Our parents?


  183. You do know Latin’s not Enlish? Lol! Nice article :)

    • Hi, Cassie. Yes, I know Latin isn’t English. But they share the same character set (as opposed to Greek, for example). Thank you for the compliment! :-)

    • Ahh! The penny’s dropped!! Yes, I say “no reason why this discussion of pangrams should be restricted to English” just after the Latin example. I was on the wrong wavelength completely. Sorry for such a dumb reply, Cassie :-)

  184. Thanks for keeping my class interested and entertained! We spent a happy hour attempting Spanish pangrams.

  185. You please me so :)

  186. Swashbuckling stuff

  187. Jolly lovely.

  188. If I achieve nothing at work today because I’m too busy playing with pangrams, it’s all your fault.

  189. Hi there, just adding my little voice to the chorus of praise.

  190. And an alliterative title too!

  191. Yup! I don’t know why we like alliteration so much, Thabo, but there’s no doubting we do.

  192. I’m such a nerd I had to check every single one of those to make sure each letter was present and correct :-(. Fascinating stuff!

    • I hope you copy-and-pasted them into Pangrammer Helper 2.0, Mitchell. A splendid labour-saving device for you, and a great aid to creating pangrams, should you be so inclined 😉

  193. I’m fascinated that ‘lynx’ in Dutch is still ‘lynx’.

  194. In the spirit of ‘you’re so awesome you would know everything’ which single words contain the most letters? Are any of those science words pangrams?

    • Hi, Sophia! It seems that an obscure word, “subdermatoglyphic”, is the record holder at 17. This is all the more remarkable because there are no duplicate letters. If you want a word which you *might* see in everyday life, I suggest “uncopyrightable” at 15 (again, all different). Organic chemistry nomenclature would probably allow you to create a “word” of unlimited length, but I’ve never seen a fully-pangrammatic one. Hope that helps :-)

  195. No exaggeration, I adore you

  196. Blimey, I found wordtopia.

  197. Whoaaaa. This is trippy stuff. I feel I may become addicted.

  198. Ooh, I think my family might have it!
    Surname: Fogerty

    And my mythical husband, Patrick Swayze

  199. A++, top of the class.

  200. What a delight you are young man, leading us on a journey of linguistic endeavour. Thank you!

  201. Yes, I’m that Mrs G. But we all know kids’ll say anything for a good grade!

  202. Never heard of pangrams before, but they’re my new second favourite thing. Your site is my favourite.

  203. Trackbacks

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