Panalphabetic window

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A panalphabetic window is a stretch of text that contains all the letters of the alphabet in order. It is a special type of pangram or pangrammatic window.

Natural-sounding panalphabetic sentences are not particularly difficult to construct; the following sequence of 132 letters by Howard Bergerson is often quoted:[1][2][3]

Well, about porn, I can say definitely that although I loathe junk like that myself, I don't propose to question other people's right to it, because, in my view, if sexy magazines and X-rated movies are what they want instead of the real thing, more power to them!

Considerably rarer are short, naturally occurring panalphabetic windows. Based on the letter frequency distribution of a large corpus, Mike Keith calculated the expected window size for English text to be around 3000 letters. His computer-assisted search of Project Gutenberg identified the shortest natural panalphabetic window as a 535-letter passage from The Alkahest, a translation of Honoré de Balzac's La Recherche de l'Absolu:[4]

Soon, little colloquies followed, a few words said in a low voice behind Emmanuel's back, trifling deceptions which give to a look or a word a meaning whose insidious sweetness may be the cause of innocent mistakes . Relying on his intimacy with Felicie, Pierquin tried to discover the secret of Marguerite's journey, and to know if it were really a question of her marriage, and, whether he must renounce all hope; but, notwithstanding his clumsy cleverness in questioning them, neither Balthazar nor Felicie could give him any light, for the good reason that they were in the dark themselves; Marguerite in taking the reins of power seemed to have followed its maxims and kept silence as to her projects.

The gloomy sadness of Balthazar and his great depression made it difficult to get through the evenings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bergerson, Howard (August 1980). "Kickshaws". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 13 (3): 175–186.
  2. ^ Eckler, Jr., A. Ross (May 2010). "Howard Bergerson". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 43 (2): 82–88.
  3. ^ Eckler, Ross (1997). Making the Alphabet Dance: Recreational Wordplay. St Martins Griffin. p. 160. ISBN 978-0312155803.
  4. ^ Keith, Mike (February 2001). "Panalphabetic Windows in Literature". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 34 (1): 74–76.