Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Photo: George Redgrave

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Practical Use of Pangrams

Typing Practice
Our old friend, the Quick Brown Fox, is untiring. She has been helping budding typists practice their typing skills for more than 130 years. She makes sure you do not neglect any letter of the alphabet as you pound away at the keyboard. The pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is typically used, though “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is shorter by two letters (but then you want to practice typing).

Writing Practice
Even before typewriters came along, pangrams have been used in writing practice: penmanship, for example. Students in elementary schools use pangrams to improve their handwriting.

Testing Typewriters, Keyboards, Computer Programs, Etc.
Typing a pangram quickly tests all keys of a typewriter or a keyboard. Pangrams are also used in testing software related to text processing.

Handwriting Analysis
Some people believe that one's handwriting is a window to one's soul, or at least to one's personality traits. Giving people a pangram to write is a way to get them to write all letters of the alphabet without being self-conscious.

Showcasing Typefaces
Instead of listing the letters alphabetically, a pangram is an organic way to showcase a typeface.

Do you have a suggestion for adding something to this page? Write to us at (words AT wordsmith.org).