A 42-letter pangrammatic window.
In 1907, Pearson  gave a 65-letter pangram found in the novel The Beth Book by Sarah Grand. The 65 letter barrier remained unbroken until 2002 when Keith  gave two 64-1etter examples. In February 2006, Keith  further lowered the record to 56 letters giving four examples of pangrammatic windows of less than 60 letters based on a search of texts from Project Gutenberg. In May 2006, Chaikin  uncovered a 47-letter example in Google search results for an on-line movie review.
The pangrammatic windows representing historical records are included below. In each case the text has been expanded to the surrounding sentence boundaries and the actual window is shown in bold. Similarly, the length of the pangrammatic window is shown in bold at the start of description.
65 The Beth Book, Sarah Grand (1897) :
It was an exquisite deep blue just then, with filmy white clouds drawn up over it like gauze to veil its brightness.
64 A French Encounter, Cathy Williams (1992) :
Alyssia's heart was beating ferociously, and there was a throbbing in her temples that was making her feel quite dizzy. Or maybe it was just his proximity having that effect on her.
56 In the Courts of Memory, Lillie de Hagermann-Lindencrone (1912) :
I sang, and thought I sang very well; but he just looked up into my face with a very quizzical ex pression, and said, "How long have you been singing, Mademoiselle?"
47 On-line search result :
JoBlo's movie review of The Yards: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron.
And now the newly discovered pangrammatic windows:
56 The Ringworld Throne, Larry Niven (1996):
To Beedj she quickly added, 'Beedj, this is for size, to leave me larger. I expect Whan d will go with Moonwa first...'
56 Night Flight, Lawrence Watt-Evans a short story first published in Flights of Fantasy, Mercedes Lackey (ed.) (1999):
It was still early in the morning of the following day when Princess Kirna, escorted by what appeared to be a crippled wizard's ghost, arrived safely back at Quonmor Keep. Judging by the ex pression on her father's face, her arrival was not half as surprising as the first thing she said when shown in the audience chamber.
56 A Falcon Flies, Wilbur Smith (1980):
'With the major objectives of the expedition unfulfilled?' Zouga asked quickly. 'The major objectives w ere to find Fuller Ballantyne, and report on the slave trade, both of which we can accomplish if we march down the slave road to the sea.'
55 Hackers, David Bischoff(1995):
Jim Wilkins, Junior Executive, held the steaming mug of top-quality Zab ar's Kona coffee, 2 percent milk, no sugar, waiting for arrival.
55 Wolf and Raven, Michael A. Stackpole (1998):
I gave Lynn's hand a squeeze. "They would be except for players like Jim my here."
55 Dragon and Thief, Timothy Zahn (2003):
But going that way would mean a longer walk, and Jack was already feeling jumpy about being here. Navigating the maze of boxes would be quick er, and would offer the extra bonus of keeping him out of sight.
54 An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications, Li & Vitanyi (2nd ed., 1997):
Ibid, 43:544-546, 1937.  J. Tyszklewiez. On the Kolmogorov expressive power of Boolean qu ery languages.
52 Earth Logic, Laurie J. Marks (2004):
Some rather ostentatiously loosed their clubs, which they generally used only to defend the goats from predators, but they relaxed quickly enough when Zanja gav e proper greetings to the headwoman.
50 The Godmother's Apprentice, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (1995):
The great man was gone for a long time at the stop in Wexford. Normally, Jack might have taken out his squeeze b ox and busked for a time to earn a few coins, but Carnahan had locked the squeeze box in the car.
42 Cube Route, Piers Anthony (2003):
"We are all from Xanth" Cube said quickly. "Just visiting Phaze. W e just want to find the dragon."
The Cube Route example occurs on page 98 of 2004 First Mass Market Edition published by Tor. It is worth noting that
"We are all from Xanth," Cube said quickly. "Just visiting Phaz e.
forms a 48-letter pangram and removes the need for a third sentence. Cube Route is the 27th novel in Piers Anthony's long running series about Xanth. Notice that the title itself if a form of word play, since [cube root of 27] = 3. Originally Anthony planned the series as a trilogy, but more and more books were written until he called this the final book of the first trilogy. In addition to the Cube Route example, I have verified the Kolmogorov Complexity, The Ringworld Throne, and A Falcon Flies examples against print versions. The others are only verified in ebook versions.
A tricky question arises when evaluating the goodness of a particular pangrammatic window. Clearly, shorter windows are in some sense better, but there are secondary criteria like the presence or absence of proper nouns and whether or not the window spans sentence or paragraph boundaries. Another way to measure goodness is to measure the entropy of window against a corpus of English text. The closer the example is to the corpus, the lower the entropy, and in a certain sense the more English-like the example is. To this end, Table 1 gives the entropy of selected pangrammatic windows calculated using a 4-gram model of English text built according to the PPMC method . Two different entropies are given, E<sub>1</sub> is the entropy from the start of the sentence to the end of the sentence containing the pangrammatic window and E<sub>2</sub> is the entropy solely on the pangrammatic window. Both are expressed in bits per character. By this measure the Dragon and Thief pangrammatic window is most typical of English. The entropy measure seems to capture my intuitive feel for these examples with the Kolmogorov Complexity and JoBlo's movie review scoring the worst.
 Timothy C. Bell, John G. Cleary, and Ian H. Witten. Text Compression. Advanced Reference Series. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990.
 Eric Chaikin. Joaquin through the pangram window. Word Ways, 39(2), 2006.
 Mike Keith. New record pangrammatic windows. Word Ways, 35(4), 2002.
 Mike Keith. Sub-60-1etter pangrammatic windows. Word Ways, 39(1), 2006.
 A. Cyril Pearson. The Twentieth Century Standard Puzzle Book. E. P. Dutton, 1907.
Sean A. Irvine
Hamilton, New Zealand
Table 1: Entropy measure. Length [E.sub.l] [E.sub.2] Pangrammatic window 65 2.49 2.63 The Beth Book 64 2.23 2.16 A French Encounter 56 2.14 2.08 In the Courts of Memory 56 2.81 2.76 The Ringworld Throne 56 2.29 2.96 Night Flight 56 2.26 2.46 A Falcon Flies 55 3.08 3.02 Hackers 55 2.27 2.26 Wolf and Raven 55 2.10 2.27 Dragon and Thief 54 3.55 3.64 Kolmogorov Complexity 52 2.37 2.58 Earth Logic 50 2.37 2.52 The Godmother's Apprentice 47 3.56 3.45 JoBlo's movie review ... 42 2.44 2.65 Cube Route 32 2.64 2.80 The quick brown fox ...
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|Title Annotation:||Sean A. Irvine|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2012|
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