Ella Minnow Pea: An Allegory for Our Times?

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Being fond of puzzles and word play, I was recently attracted to Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters, by Mark Dunn. Ella, the main character in this book, is a girl living on a small island off the coast of North Carolina. This fictional island is famous for one thing—it was once the home of Nevin Nollop, author of what is arguably the most famous English language pangram, a phrase containing all the letters in the modern English alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” In a central location in the main town on this island is erected a statue to Nollop. High above the monument is a structure to which are affixed tiles, each containing one letter, that spell out the most famous of all sentences to the residents of the island.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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