Q is for the Quick Brown Fox…


The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

How many people recognize that sentence? Probably quite a few hands went up.

According to Wikipedia….

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an English-language pangram—a phrase that contains all of the letters of the alphabet. It is commonly used for touch-typing practice. It is also used to test typewriters and computer keyboards, show fonts, and other applications involving all of the letters in the English alphabet. Owing to its brevity and coherence, it has become widely known.

Okay, now, how many of you practiced that sentence on a manual typewriter? Hmmm. Lots of hands went down!

Students still learn touch typing only now it’s called “keyboarding”. I tried to explain to my third graders what a typewriter was one day. I was met with a lot of blank stares. I could have confused them further if I’d told them that my older sister learned shorthand when she was in school (Shorthand?) and then used touch type to translate her shorthand.

I can touch type pretty quickly and it’s definitely a very useful skill. Hubby uses a rapid-fire, two-finger, hunt-and-peck typing style. Not sure what class he took. There is no denying that computers and word processing make writing documents easier and more convenient but sometimes I still get nostalgic for the old days….

Remember those little strips of white paper you could put under the keys to correct mistakes? And who could forget good old Liquid Paper! Then there was the neat way the keys would all jam up if you hit them too fast. I can still hear that little bell that rang when you reached the end of the page. Each and every time you reached the end of the page.. Ahh, memories. Of course after so many years typing on a computer keyboard, I’d probably sprain my fingers if I tried to push down regular typewriter keys again!  I guess there’s a lot to be said for progress after all.


9 thoughts on “Q is for the Quick Brown Fox…

  1. I remember learning to use a typewriter in Gr. 9 and needing to be able to write 20 words a minute to pass the class. I didn’t like doing all the formatting, but I do miss the ‘authentic’ feel of being a writer that a typewriter brought. There is definitely a different feel to it – the ‘ding’ of the little bell and the carriage return as you finished a line, motivating you to continue on the next line, almost like winning a race. Thanks for the nostalgia! Emily @angelcat2014 from Sunny Side Up

    • Pulling out those finished sheets of paper is a great motivator too. It’s not the same as printing all of them at the end.

      Did you ever use carbon paper? That was a trick to get right! My hands always ended up covered in blue ink!

      • No, I never used carbon paper. I am familiar with it though. I remember my mom using it when she used to type the minutes for the Beavers and Girl Guides.

  2. Oh my goodness, this brought back memories. One of my treasures is an old manual typewriter that belonged to my dad.

    • That’s so funny. We had an old manual typewriter that my father bought at a yard sale when I was little. I never could figure out why he bought it! I used to love to play with it.

  3. I was in high school during that weird, short period of word processors after typewriters and before computers. I was happy not to use a typewriter. That whiteout was the worst. I did love the sound of a typewriter though.

  4. I still think it’s cool! My sister was 12 years older than me and worked for a lawyer after she graduated. I was fascinated by her shorthand. I wonder if she still remembers it? I’ll have to ask her.

  5. We had an electric typewriter at my house. Long before I learned touch typing in school on a computer, I was tapping away at those typewriter keys. I really miss the sound they made. So much more satisfying than the light clackity clack of modern keyboards.

    I don’t miss waiting for liquid paper to dry, though.

    And because I was an extremely bookish child, I also took it upon myself to learn shorthand from the old handbook my mother learned with. We used to write little shorthand notes to each other until I got “too old” to think that was cool.

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