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The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog

Published March 17, 2012 - 3 Comments

I planned on writing this post to share another interesting fact that I recently learned… but as I was fact checking (yea, sometimes we bloggers have to do that) I noticed something else that I had never known… all this time I had been saying the titled expression wrong! I would have sworn up and down that it was The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog.  Jumped.  Past tense.  Apparently I’ve been wrong a very long time because it’s Jumps, not Jumped.  Who knew?

But the whole point behind this post is this:  Do you know why people use this phrase to begin with?  The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog.  I had no idea… and maybe I’m the only one, because I know that there are people reading this who already know the answer and are thinking “Duh… how did you NOT know that?”  But it’s true.. I did not.  Until very recently.  And the answer is this:

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog is a pangram, which means that it is a sentence that uses every letter in the English language!  I had no idea.  That’s why it is used in typing practice.  It allows you to strike every key.

I think the first time I saw this phrase was during typing exercises on my trades training when I joined the military.  While everyone else wanted to be a radio operator, two of us decided to go another route.  We wanted to send messages via computer, or so we thought.  Remember teletype?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  My point is that we first had to “learn to type”, which was incredibly boring if you already knew how (albeit not 100% by the book).  This probably explained why I quickly got bored of typing that phrase over and over, and began to customize it slightly until it became “A duck is a duck.  Fuck the duck.  Cluck Cluck.”  I thought that it was pretty funny.  My sergeant instructor did not share my opinion.  Had I known then that the phrase that I was supposed to be typing was excellent practice because it used all the letters of the alphabet, I may not have been inclined to have taken creative liberties on my own.  OK, that’s probably a lie.  A duck is a duck is far more fun to write.  Besides, I was only 17.

And now you’re learned 3 things.

  1. It’s Jumps, not Jumped.
  2. A pangram is a phrase that uses all the letters of the alphabet at least once.
  3. I’ve always been something of a smart ass.

Cluck Cluck.