A pangram (Greek: pan gramma, "every letter"), or holoalphabetic sentence, is a sentence using every letter of the alphabet at least once. Pangrams have been used to display typefaces, test equipment, and develop skills in handwriting, calligraphy, and keyboarding. Some examples:
The quick-brown-fox pangram, which has been used since at least the late 19th century, was utilized by Western Union to test Telex/TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability, and is now used by a number of computer programs (most notably the font viewer built into Microsoft Windows) to display computer fonts. The German Victor-jagt pangram, used since before 1800, contains all the letters, including the 3 umlaut letters: ä, ö, ü.
Short pangrams tend to be more interesting and more difficult to write because the English language uses some of the same letters (especially vowels) much more frequently than others. Longer pangrams may afford more opportunity for humor, cleverness, or thoughtfulness. In a sense, the pangram is the opposite of the lipogram, in which the aim is to omit one or more letters. A perfect pangram in the English language contains every letter of the alphabet only once and can be considered an anagram of the alphabet. A common example is the phrase "Cwm fjord bank glyphs vext quiz". For more examples, see: List of pangrams.
Sometimes, an alternate variation of a pangram is used to include more symbols in the total. A common example is, in English, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog's back" which includes an apostrophe by adding "dog's back" to the phrase. The word "the" appears twice, although the phrase would have been shorter by writing "over lazy dogs" or such. Exercises in touch-typing have used pangrams to reach every common key on a keyboard, similar to exercises using musical scales which include every common note in a particular musical key.
Ideographic scripts, that is, writing systems composed principally of logograms, cannot be used to produce pangrams in the literal sense, since they are radically different from alphabets or other phonetic writing systems. In such scripts, the total number of signs is large and imprecisely defined, so producing a text with every possible sign is impossible. However, various analogies to pangrams are feasible, including traditional pangrams in a romanization. In addition, it is possible to create pangrams that demonstrate certain aspects of ideographic characters.
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