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the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. A pangram, that is, a sentence that uses all 26 of the letters of the standard English alphabet. It was commonly used to test the letter quality of used typewriters, back when these machines were considered office equipment rather than collectibles. Lazy as the dog may be, he provides the “d” and the “g” for this sentence.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement used it in his 1908 scouting manual as a practice sentence for signalling. It was later described as “foxing” when used by Western Union for testing teletype services.

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My mother typically typed the other common typing test: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.” This has the advantage of being a bit more stirring than the quick brown fox, but numerous keys will go untested if this is all you try.

1. Wikipedia contributors. 2008. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Accessed Mar 27 2008 from http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ The_quick_brown_fox _jumps_over_the_lazy_dog.

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About the illustration: Digitally collaged by the author. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.

see also: Quick as a dog can lick a dish; lazy as a dog