Where did Lorem Ipsum come from?

Designers have been using Latin for a long time.

Latin is a dead language. Depending on the source, the number of fluent speakers globally ranges from ~2k to ~2m people.

Where did Lorem Ipsum come from?

But everybody who’s spent time on the internet is familiar with at least one Latin phrase: “lorem ipsum,” the first two words of the dummy text designers use to gauge the layout of a page. It tends to appear in the wild when somebody forgets to replace the Latin with their intended message (often in hilarious fashion).

The backstory of how “lorem ipsum” appeared in our lives is complicated, according to Slate’s Jack Shepherd.

The full passage is attributed to Cicero

The famous Roman philosopher penned it as a long-winded way of saying, “No pain, no gain.”

From there, the story goes that a 16th-century typesetter used “Lorem Ipsum dolor…” in a book of typefaces, and the tradition continued for hundreds of years.

But Shepherd found those origins unlikely because the popular translation of Cicero’s text didn’t appear until 1914.

So who introduced lorem ipsum?

The British design company Letraset, which used the phrase to advertise its services in the 1960s.

Why? Nobody really knows. Probably because an employee was a fan of Cicero.

Their decision led to years of lorem ipsum-ing, as well as lots of fun recent spinoffs: Online text generators let designers use everything from Hipster Ipsum to DeLorean Ipsum for planning layouts.

BTW: Until 2014, Latin was the official language of Vatican City.

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