What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.  What?  Why am I seeing this on the homepage build that my web designer is showing me?  Obviously it is not English.  So, what is it?  This is what we call Lorem Ipsum which is derived from the Latin dolorem ipsum and can be translated as “pain itself”.

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is used as dummy text in the printing and typesetting industry.  It has been the industry’s standard of dummy text ever since the 1500’s.  At this time an unknown printer took a section of type and scrambled it to make a type of specimen book.  This book has survived for five centuries and mastered the leap into electronic typesetting where it has remained virtually unchanged.  In the 1960’s it became popular with the release of Letraset sheets that contained Lorem Ipsum passages.  Recently it has become popular with desktop publishing software such as Aldus PageMaker.


Why do web design companies use Lorem Ipsum?

It has long been established that a reader will become distracted by readable content on a page when they should be focusing on the layout.  The point behind using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a natural distribution of letters rather than simply writing “content here” where the content will soon go.  Lorem Ipsum also makes the text appear like readable English.  There are many desktop publishing packages and we page editors that now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text.  If you are searching the web for ‘lorem ipsum’ you will discover a host of web sites that are in their early states.  There have been several versions over the years.  Sometimes these new versions have occurred by accidents while others have been intentional.


So where does it come from?

Many people believe that Lorem Ipsum is simply random text.  That is not true.  It has its roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, more than 2,000 years ago.  A Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia looked up some of the more obscure Latin words from a Lorem Ipsum passage.  As he made his way through cites of a particular word in classical literature, he discovered the source.  Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” or The Extremes of Good and Evil by Cicero.  This book is a thesis on the theory of ethics which was very popular during the Renaissance.


Can I get it?

Many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum are available.  The problem is that the majority have been altered in some way.  Maybe a bit of injected humor or some random words have been added.  If you plan to use Lorem Ipsum, make sure that there is not some embarrassing hidden text captured in the middle.  All Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat a specific chunk as necessary.  A dictionary of over 200 Latin words is used along with a handful of combined model sentence structures to make it appear reasonable.  This generator is always free from repetition, injected humor or non-characteristic words.