The games people play. While most of us would probably spend a lazy Sunday brunching with friends, discussing inane topics, lamenting about work and generally the current state of affairs around the country and the world (because, let’s face it, we’re humans, and we love to complain), there are others who seem to be more gainfully employed.
Going by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s latest Facebook post, the author was off discussing the shortest possible sentence using all 26 letters of the English alphabet – known as a pangram – with his friends. Now, for all those who have spent time changing fonts or filling up dummy text on book layouts, the most well-known and oft-used pangram across the world has been “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” for years. That’s 32 letters.
Tharoor claims to have found a new winner with 30 letters. This is what he posted:
“Was discussing with friends the shortest possible sentence using all 26 letters of the English alphabet. A new winner has emerged! Trophy was held for years by “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”(32 letters) But “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs”= 31! And the winner, with only 30 letters: “How quickly daft jumping zebras vex!” Sentences don’t have to make much sense; just have to be short!”
Now, as much as that rocks our literary world, it so happens there are shorter pangrams that exist – as long as we go by what Tharoor said, which is that it doesn’t really need to make much sense. We did a quick check, and according to several websites, here are some of the shorter versions, without using abbreviations or proper nouns:
>> Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex bud (28 letters)
>> Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow (29 letters)
>> Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack (29 letters)
And there’s a possibility that we’d have a couple of others floating around as well.
In the meantime, Tharoor’s post has his followers quite amused. Some loved the word play, while others thought he should employ his time in other pursuits.
But then, why not spend a Sunday pondering over words? It’s as good a pass-time as any. This writer definitely learnt something new, and you probably did too!