Pangram & Panphone

Ian James
© December 2016

These are two of my fairly significant but unremarkable linguistic inventions. They were designed for use in my orthographic and phonological projects.

A pangram

Pangrams are simply texts using the minimal number of all letters. They are often used for the display or testing of fonts. My contribution dates from 16 August 2007, during the development of my book Language for the World.

vow of crazy duck mob jinxes glyph quest


This uses only 7 extra letters {ceoosuy}, and is among the shortest meaningful pangrams I have seen. Other examples from the existing literature include:

quick wafting zephyrs vex bold jim{eii}
quick zephyrs blow vexing daft jim{eii}
sphinx of black quartz judge my vow{aou}
how quickly daft jumping zebras vex{aeiu}
quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog{eoooru}
pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs{eiioou}
the five boxing wizards jumped quickly{deeiiiu}
jackdaws love my sphinx of black quartz{aaacklos} but missing {g}
sympathizing would fix quaker objectives  {aeeiiiostu}
Here’s a good one for Swedish (provided by Mattias Persson):
byxfjärmat föl gick på duvshowen – Trouser-less foal went to the dove-show.

A panphone

It is very rare to find the phonemic equivalent of a pangram. Whilst there are many examples of short stories which contain all English phonemes, I could find nothing using a minimal number. This was something I desired during the development and testing of Vox, my artificial voice program. Here is one of my attempts, dating from 16 December 2016. It is not perfect since it does not account for differences between initial and final plosives, and it uses twice a short “and” or short syllabic [n], shown by the ampersands. An IPA version showing the phonemes is shown below.

You, Jack, Beth & I should open her garage of cheese & wait there for mousing oil.

PS. If anyone knows of other minimal panphones, please let me know via, and I will publish them here. Thank you.

bronze figure of Pan


All material on this page except Pan image © Ian James.