Lorem Ipsum – How a Gibberish Latin Text Became Standard Filler Text

Today, Lorem Ipsum text has become a standard filler text for people who are working in print or digital media. Prominently, if you are associated with blogging or website development, then you must have seen Lorem Ipsum text at some place or the other.

Frankly speaking, when I saw the first-time Lorem Ipsum text on some website layout, I thought it to be random letters constituting meaningless words. In reality, Lorem Ipsum passage has some real reference from past.

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You will be surprised to know that Lorem Ipsum text is taken from a classical Latin literature which has a background of more than 2000 years. However, texts are modified and presented in a nonsensical manner.

But you must be wondering how and why this Latin verbiage slipped as the standard dummy text for most of the example design formats.

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is also known as ‘Greek Copy’ because the passage is taken from a classical Latin literature ‘De finibus bonorum et malorum’. The classical literature was authored at the time of renaissance in 45 BC by a famous philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Although, the Lorem Ipsum text was scrambled deliberately to create a meaningless passage. The primary intent of incomprehensible text or passage was to distract a user from content reading and divert focus on design and layout.

Lorem Ipsum text found its place in print industry since the 16th century or 1500. But it was popularised in the 1960s with Letraset transfer sheets advertisements.

With the passage of time, several versions of Lorem Ipsum passage came out. The 1914 Loeb classical library edition of the De Finibus Bonorum Et Malorum book has the original version of Lorem Ipsum text as mentioned below.

Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui doloremipsum, quia dolor sit amet consectetur adipisci(ng) velit, sed quia non numquam (do) eius modtemporinci(di)dunt, ut labore et dolore magnaaliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minimveniam, quis nostruexercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodconsequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui doloreeufugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

Note: Bold text represents Lorem Ipsum text.

In the same year, i.e.1914, a Latin scholar H. Rackham translated the above passage into English which is shown below.

But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing of a pleasure and praising pain was born, and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

Does above translation explain anything? For sure, No! It is babble.

Later, in the mid-1980s, a desktop publishing program PageMaker used a version of Lorem Ipsum. Nowadays, you can find such text in several places including WordPress example layouts, Joomla, Google Docs, Apple Keynote, Apple Pages, etc.

Why do we use Lorem Ipsum?

Logically, if you have to finalise on any document layout, flyer or brochure, then a blank content cannot give you the complete information about the overall design. In short, you need some text to fill up space for highlighting the design aspects.

Some of you may argue to provide an exact copy of content from someplace as an example. But then a user might be distracted by reading content rather than focusing on the design or layout.

Lorem Ipsum text usage in layouts

Lorem Ipsum does the purpose of filling up space as well as keeping the user at bay from reading an illogical gibberish text.

The alignment of words in Lorem Ipsum text is the ideal fit for any layout and space.

Usually, when you are designing a website for any client, then the actual content becomes an issue. You require example text to complete the website design for getting your customer approval. In a way, you can speed up the whole process.

Lorem Ipsum has become a standard practice to show an example layout. It makes easier for someone to spot the difference between a model layout and a final design copy.

Lastly, the whole purpose of creating a garbled text was to create unbiased emotionless content which could not initiate any sense of humour, hatred and offence.

Lorem Ipsum generator

Now that you know Lorem Ipsum, you need a few paragraphs for your mockup design layout. In short, you need Lorem Ipsum generator. There are many websites which can help you with generating texts or several passages.

  • http://www.lipsum.com
  • http://generator.lorem-ipsum.info

The easiest Lorem Ipsum generator is MS Word. Yes, you heard me right. You just have to type =lorem(a,b) and hit ‘Enter’ key. Here ‘a’ represents the number of paragraphs, and ‘b’ represents the number of sentences per paragraph.

Or, you just type =lorem() and hit ‘Enter’ button and get few lines of desired Lorem text.

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If you are using WordPress a CMS platform, then there are many free plugins for Lorem Ipsum Text Generator. Lorem short code could be a nice choice as it is recently updated.

Why you should be careful with Lorem Ipsum text

You should be careful with the usage of Lorem Ipsum while you go live with your production content. A few years back, Singapore leading newspaper, The Straits Times, mistakenly published a column with Lorem Ipsum text. It was humiliating for such a leading newspaper.

<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmrbrownlah%2Fphotos%2Fa.534336879949534.1073741829.533717230011499%2F638404832876071%2F%3Ftype%3D3&width=350&show_text=true&appId=119117205311477&height=378″ width=”350″ height=”378″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true”></iframe>

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