The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English alphabet. What is the main usage of these pangrams?

  • While certainly not the main usage, I employed panagrams to teach students how to use arrays in a comp sci 101 class. – rajah9 Jan 19 '17 at 14:44
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    This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 20 '17 at 9:10

The main usage today is that you can see how all letters of a certain font look like. It's been in use ever since we have GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) instead of just CLIs (Command Line Interfaces) with a fixed font.

Of course, you can just display the alphabet, but that doesn't look like normal text and will be perceived differently by a reader. It's use is therefore related to Lorem ipsum.

According to Wikipedia, it was used in the days of the Telex already, to test if all letters could be broadcasted and received over a communication channel.

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    Anecdotally, it was also used in pre-computer/Teletext days in typing schools to ensure that the students used every key on the (then manual) keyboard; both my mother and my wife remember typing it quite frequently. – Spratty Jan 19 '17 at 14:34
  • As a child in the 50s my qualified typist mother told me that the quick brown fox... was used by typewriter mechanics to test the mechanism. The point being that using the pangram was a more realistic text than carefully pressing every key without typing words. – BoldBen Jan 19 '17 at 18:23
  • I recall seeing books of printing font samples employing that line (and also "How does one assess and evaluate a type face...") back in the mid 60s, well before computerized printing. – Hot Licks Jan 20 '17 at 18:22

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