Wonderful Engineering

Ever Wondered What Is That Lorem Ipsum Random Text You See On Websites? Now You Know

Ever wondered what was that random jumble of Latin text, that you saw on a website under construction? It is highly likely that the text which you saw was Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum is a dummy text for the printing and typesetting industry.  It is an example of ‘Greeking’ where a version is made unreadable to signify that it is temporary. It has been a standard filler text ever since the 1500s. The text has now survived through 5 centuries and has made its way through electronic typesetting without any considerable change. It became popular only after the release of Letraset sheets in the 1960s. These sheets contained the Lorem Ipsum passages.

What is wrong with English text? Why is it not used as a placeholder? The purpose of using Latin is to make the text less distracting for designers. So, the text is not mistaken to be the final one to be published. While the text is in Latin, it is not simple text. It comes from “De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. The word ‘lorem’ comes from the Latin word ‘dolorem’ meaning pain, so lorem ipsum translates to ‘pain itself,’ as it comes from a passage discussing pain and pleasure.

The text used as a filler is a jumbled up version of a section from Cicero’s work. Making the text meaningless keeps it non-distracting even to a Latin reader. While the purpose of the script is to serve just as a placeholder, there still have been incidents where it accidentally got published.

 

A Singapore Newspaper accidentally published a chunk of Lorem Ipsum on April 26th, 2014.
Source: Imgur

This wine must have become a good source of humor.

 

Source: Elezea

This newspaper is a good example of why it should have been in Latin. It may have been less embarrassing than ‘blah blah.’

Source: Elezea

 

There are a lot of Lorem Ipsum Generators online, some with a touch of humor. You can use them if you need to do some typesetting for a project. So the next time you see some Latin gibberish, you won’t get confused.

Have you ever seen a published newspaper article or a magazine advertisement with Lorem Ipsum in it? Comment below!