The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Thu. May 09, 2002

It's All Greek To Me

It’s All Greek To Me – Even if you’re not in the design world, you’ve seen these words before: ”Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, etc.”

It’s filler text, sometimes called ”greeking,” used by designers to simulate copy that has not yet been provided. I’ve always assumed it was just some standardarized nonsense, not a literal quote. But it is, and the translation is sort of ironic.

Credit Richard McClintock, a Latin professor, who tracked down the source: Lorem ipsum was part of a passage from Cicero, specifically De finibus bonorum et malorum, a treatise on the theory of ethics written in 45 BC. The original reads, ”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…”).

Obviously, in 45 BC, mankind had not yet discovered masochism.

Peanut Gallery

1  JD wrote:

Oh, that those turn out to be the words we all reference in our concepts. Irony at its finest. I love it.

Comment by JD · 05/09/2002 08:36 AM
2  Tim Peck wrote:

[Obviously, in 45 BC, mankind had not yet discovered masochism.] Or altruism.

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