[thelist] "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet!" ?

Andy Warwick mailing.lists at creed.co.uk
Tue Mar 19 11:36:01 CST 2002

| On 2002-03-19, Simon Willison said:

| Just wondering what the origin of this oh-so-common piece of text is.

>From <http://nwalsh.com/comp.fonts/FAQ/cf_36.htm>

'Lorem ipsum dolor' is the first part of a nonsense paragraph sometimes used to
demonstrate a font. It has been well established that if you write anything as a
sample, people will spend more time reading the copy than looking at the font.
The 'gibberish' below is sufficiently like ordinary text to demonstrate a font
but doesn't distract the reader. Hopefully.

Rick Pali submits the following from Before and After Magazine, Volume 4 Number


After telling everyone that Lorem ipsum, the nonsensical text that comes with
PageMaker, only looks like Latin but actually says nothing, I heard from Richard
McClintock, publication director at the Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, who
had enlightening news:

"Lorem ipsum is latin, slightly jumbled, the remnants of a passage from Cicero's
_de Finibus_ 1.10.32, which begins 'Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum
quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit...' [There is no one who loves
pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is
pain.]. [de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, written in 45 BC, is a treatise on the
theory of ethics very popular in the Renaisance.]

"What I find remarkable is that this text has been the industry's standard dummy
text ever since some printed in the 1500s took a galley of type and scambled it
to make a type specemin book; it has survived not only four centuries of
letter-by-letter resetting but even the leap into electronic typesetting,
essentially unchanged except for an occational 'ing' or 'y' thrown in. It's
ironic that when the then-understood Latin was scrambled, it became as
incomprehensible as Greek; the phrase 'it's Greek to me' and 'greeking' have
common semantic roots!"



Andy Warwick

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