In 1983, a Dutch newspaper carried an astonishing translation of a rather tongue-in-cheek sentence of mine (Lee Sallows) that had previously appeared in Douglas Hofstadter’s January 1982 Scientific American column. The translation was by Rudy Kousbroek, a well-known journalist in Holland (two chapters of his 1984 book, De Logologische Ruimte, appeared in the November 1986 and November 1987 Word Ways). Here is the original sentence:

Only the fool would take trouble to verify that this sentence was composed of ten a’s, three b’s, four c’s, four d’s, forty-six e’s, sixteen f’s, four g’s, thirteen h’s, fifteen i’s, two k’s, nine l’s, four m’s, twenty-five n’s, twenty-four o’s. five p’s, sixteen r’s, forty-one s’s, thirty-seven t’s, ten u’s, eight v’s, eight w’s, four x’s, eleven y’s, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens and, last but not least, a single !

Write a computer program to check that this sentence is true.

Here are some further examples to try:

Dit pangram bevat vijf a’s, twee b’s, twee c’s, drie d’s, zesenveertig e’s. vijf f’s, vier g’s, twee h’s, vijftien i’s, vier j’s, een k, twee l’s, twee m’s, zeventien n’s, een o, twee p’s, een q, zeven r’s, vierentwintig s’s, zestien t’s, een u, elf v’s, acht w’s, een x, een y en zes z’s.

This pangram lists four a’s, one b, one c, two d’s, twenty-nine e’s, eight f’s, three g’s, five h’s, eleven i’s, one j, one k, three l’s, two m’s, twenty-two n’s, fifteen o’s, one p, one q, seven r’s, twenty-six s’s, nineteen t’s, four u’s, five v’s, nine w’s, two x’s, four y’s, and one z.

This pangram contains four a’s, one b, two c’s, one d, thirty e’s, six f’s, five g’s, seven h’s, eleven i’s, one j, one k, two l’s, two m’s, eighteen n’s, fifteen o’s, two p’s, one q, five r’s, twenty-seven s’s, eighteen t’s, two u’s, seven v’s, eight w’s, two x’s, three y’s, & one z.

This sentence employs two a’s, two c’s, two d’s, twenty-six e’s, four f’s, two g’s, seven h’s, nine i’s, three l’s, two m’s, thirteen n’s, ten o’s, two p’s, six r’s, twenty-eight s’s, twenty-three t’s, two u’s, five v’s, eleven w’s, three x’s, and five y’s.



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