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Lorem ipsum

December 11, 2006

This is not a placeholder text!

What it is, is another piece of useless, but highly interesting information, or trivia if you will. If you have ever set eyes upon an unfinished web site, a mock up of a folder or leaflet or a dummy of a new magazine, the title of this post is probably familiar to you. Acording to Wikipedia, lorem ipsum is “standard placeholder text used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as font, typography, and layout. ”

Thus, lorem ipsum, or just lipsum for short is probably one of the most seen, but least read texts in the world. The whole point of using a text like this, is that even though the words look real (they are), the text doesn’t make any sense to the average viewer. This makes the viewer concentrate on the layout and presentation rather than on the text.

Looking greek

The chunk of the text most commonly encountered, reads:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.”

This might seem greek to you, but it is actually latin. According to, the text is taken from a work called de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. Since Cicero is considered by many to be amongst the greatest of the Latin orators and prose writers, chances are that the majority of leaflets and brochures out there are of considerably higher literary value before the writers fill them with the texts they are actually meant to contain.

Pain itself

Have you ever wondered what this placeholder text actually means? For the benefit of those in my audience who don’t read latin (myself included), here is a small piece of the text translated:

“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…”

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