over the lazy dog jumps the fox, quick and brown

Until reading the McClatchy blog post linked below, I’d never paid much attention to the phrase “etaoin shrdlu.” For more background, see here and here. Just for fun, I searched the New York Times historical archive: turns out it shows up 34 times between 1851 and 1980. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that 31 of those instances are behind the paywall, which implies that the mistake was more common more recently (not all of those instances are necessarily mistakes, but I suspect most are).

Of the three free instances, my favorite is

It’s a collection of excerpts from various papers, just as the subheadline says. Kind of like news aggregation today – and not only that, it’s “by Wireless*”! Comments are closed, though.

*”Wireless” meant something else back then? I don’t believe you.

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