Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Muckysnogger Booty Call

I'm susceptible to occasionally getting sucked into the world of word games and obscure limiting exercises, and at one point last year I was obsessively writing pangrams. These are sentences that use every letter in the alphabet. You know, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Which, according to the Wikipedia link above, was "developed by Western Union to test Telex/TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability."

Of course, we know them as typewriter-testers, or, more commonly these days, font-testers. Rhian's favorite has long been "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs"--and at 32 letters, it's pretty impressive. The fewer letters you use, of course, the more powerful your mojo (a "perfect" pangram being one that uses each letter only once) but in my opinion the very best ones are the funniest, regardless of how many letters you use.

Wikipedia helpfully, and amusingly, supplies classic pangrams in many languages--the title of this post is a perfect one in Finnish.

My technique is to print myself a page of about 15 alphabets, all caps, stretching across an 8-by-11.5-inch page, with plenty of space between for composition. Then I cross off the letters as I use them. I wrote a dozen or so last year, which were published as "New Sentences for the Testing of Typewriters." Here they are:

Fetching killjoy Mavis Wax was probed on the quay.
“Yo, never mix Zoloft with Quik,” gabs Doc Jasper.
One zany quaff is vodka mixed with grape juice and blood.
Zitty Vicki smugly quipped in her journal, “Fay waxes her butt.”
Hot Wendy gave me quasi-Kreutzfeld-Jacob pox.
Jack's pervy moxie quashed Bob's new Liszt fugue.
I backed Zevy's qualms over Janet's wig of phlox.
Tipsy Bangkok panjandrums fix elections with quivering zeal.
Mexican juntas, viewed in fog, piqued Zachary, killed Rob.
Jaywalking Zulu chieftains vex probate judge Marcy Quinn.
Twenty-six Excedrin helped give Jocko quite a firm buzz.
Racy pics of bed hijinx with glam queen sunk Val.
Why Paxil? Jim's Bodega stocked no quince-flavor Pez.
Wavy-haired quints of El Paz mock Jorge by fax.
Two phony quacks of God bi-exorcize evil mojo.
What joker put seven dog lice in my Iraqi fez box?

Got any good ones? Put 'em in the comments!

7 comments:

rmellis said...

Actually my favorite was always, "Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz," but now I think it's "Why Paxil? Jim's Bodega had no quince-flavor Pez."

Mr. Inertia said...

I think I need to draw these as cartoons...

Burl Veneer said...

Little strips of paper with the alphabet on them? How quaint! A less labor-intensive pangram tool is the online Pangrammer Helper.

jrlennon said...

Welp, I can forget ever getting any work done again.

Burl Veneer said...

If you wrote an entire novel in pangrams, that would qualify as work.

Anonymous said...

Some 26-letter ones:

J.Q. Vandz struck my big fox whelp.
XV quick nymphs beg fjord waltz.
and my favorite:
Blowzy night-frumps vex'd Jack Q.

Anonymous said...

Amateure Privat Cams

free sex flash games

Amateur Dominas