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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A quick brown fox jumps.............................

Dear (s)

Can you say which one is correct ?
1) The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.    OR..........
2) The quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog. (see the end)

Could be a difficult one for the new gen. But for old timers, this is a well known sentence. Not many decades ago, young boys and girls immediately upon joining college would enroll themselves in a nearby Typewriting institute learning Typewriting skills and Stenography. That th e place meant for inculcating new skills for budding students and help them in honing them for employment also was a breeding ground for many love stories is a different interesting story altogether.

The modern key board and the blackberry are modelled on the traditional configuration of typewriter styled as ‘QWERTY”. Once elementary skills of which key to type with left and what with right were acquired, came the practice of typing sentences like the one figured above.
These are known as ‘pangram’ which contains all the alphabets and would help test out the new typewriters. Here are some common pangrams :

• Nymphs blitz quick vex dwarf jog. (27 letters)
• Two driven jocks help fax my big quiz. (30 letters)
• Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. (32 letters)
• Heavy boxes perform quick waltzes and jigs. (36 letters)
• The lazy major was fixing Cupid's broken quiver. (39 letters)
• Six big devils from Japan quickly forgot how to waltz. (44 letters)
• Few black taxis drive up major roads on quiet hazy nights. (47 letters)
• A quick movement of the enemy will jeopardize six gunboats. (49 letters)
• All questions asked by five watched experts amaze the judge. (49 letters)
• Jaded zombies acted quietly but kept driving their oxen forward. (54 letters)

The word ‘pangram’ comes from Greek, literal translation meaning every letter. The pangram at the start of the article is believed to have been in use for centuries and utilised by Western Union to test Telex / data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability. Number of computer programmes including MS Windows use this to display the available fonts.

If you still remember the query at the beginning. It is not a grammar check here. The latter is not a pangram, as it does not have a ‘s’ in the sentence.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

9 comments:

  1. Interesting article. brought back memories of srinivasa institute, Halda / Remington typewriters, Mr. Narayanasamy, mechanism class.... -Kannan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Srinivasa Institute memories may not be all about Srinivasan, Sampath, JS, Raghu, Santhanam, Sundaramurthi & Narayanasamy. There obviously would be more - of those much sought after and those who went seeking much.

    Any interesting story being hidden - do share with the small group atleast - of the heart throbs and the missed beats.

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  3. I was too young at that time to have heart throbs; but now realise how much i have missed!! the stories i knew were all open secrets, ha.ha.ha

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