The mechanical typewriters of our grandparents had to be tested to make sure that every key was working fine. So the following sentence was developed: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.
It is an “English language pangram”, which means that it contains all letters of the alphabet, and has been used by generations of keyboard testers and touch-typing students.
Nowadays, the sentence it is still widely used by font publishers to display all letters of each font type. Microsoft even added the function “rand()” in Word 2003 to display the sentence (it is “rand.old()” in newer versions).
There are two interesting facts about this sentence:
- The original sentence, as published in 1885 in the The Michigan School Moderator, was actually “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, which is 2 letters shorter.
- Since then, a shorter similar sentence has been found. It has only 39 letters, so 4 less than the one in use. It is “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs“.
Anyway, it’s probably a bit late to convince font publishers to switch to a shorter sentence, so the quick brown fox can keep jumping without fear!