Word Ways


William Shortz


If typists ever want a replacement for the old chestnut "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog", do I have some suggestions! Below are my favorite sentences submitted by National Public Radio "Weekend Edition Sunday" listeners in a creative pangram competition on September 22 and 29, 2002. Each sentence uses all 26 letters of the alphabet at least once (that's a pangram) and contains the name of a famous person (the extra requirement of the contest). Out of thousands of entries, I selected the following on the basis of brevity, meaning, naturalness of syntax, and (sometimes) their ability to make me smile. All the winners use 40 or fewer letters; the grand prizewinner has only 30. A few entries were even shorter, but none read so smoothly.