Okay, 83% of you got it – and 17% of you are . . . so young!

Once upon the time, you see, there were typewriters and, as one of you reminisced in the comment field, ‘Ribbons. Correction fluid. Keys that stuck if you typed too fast. Forms in triplicate with carbon paper between the sheets. Ah, good times, good times…’

(Several others of you correctly noted I had it wrong – I had ‘JUMPED’ when it should be ‘JUMPS.’)

Wikipedia explains it all better than I can:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is a 35-letter pangram (a phrase that uses all the letters of the alphabet) that has been used to test typewriters and computer keyboards because it is nicely coherent and short. It was known in the late 19th century, and used in Baden-Powell‘s book Scouting for Boys (1908) as a practice sentence for signalling.[1] In later years, the phrase was popularized by Western Union and the Telephone Company to test Telex/TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability. It was often used for testing the teletype services (a procedure known as “foxing”) . . . Many minor variations exist, including replacing one of the “the”s with an “a”. Although it is the most popular, many other sentences are shorter and use each letter of the alphabet, such as “The five boxing wizards jump quickly.”

☞ So it was a play on that. All in the cause of promoting the new Quickbrowse for Firefox. (Another of you commented, ‘I love QB, and I do use Firefox.’)

Thanks for all your other wonderful comments as well. (‘Elmer Bittleston, my typing teacher in 1956, taught me this to check out all the keys.’) (‘It helped that in 9th grade Miss Rhodes, the typing teacher with large firm breasts, walked around the room while we were typing that and smacked us with a 12″ wooden ruler.’) (‘And you should read a great book, Ella Minnow Pea.’) This survey thing is fun.

Of course, the other famous typing sentence is this one:

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.”

Do you know who said that? (Obviously, a long time ago, or would have been ‘all good women and men . . . ‘) Patrick Henry? Andrew Jackson? Teddy Roosevelt? No, it was Charles Weller in 1867, a court reporter whose pal Christopher Stoller had invented the first workable typewriter.

Which brings us – the aid of their party – back to politics.


Slate offers you this handy gadget.


Tuesday’s endlessly long column included this link to a ’60 Minutes’ piece on the group of volunteers who have begun offering free weekend health care clinics in America as they do in the jungles of the Amazon. I can’t imagine many of you found time to watch it; but with the weekend coming up, maybe you now can.


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