March 04, 2004

Latin text on some of our pages

A few of you have asked about the Latin text that appears in some of the pages linked through the top right of our website.

The text: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit…” is used by typesetters and printers to 'dummy up' a page — to see how a page will look. If you used a collection of random letters and random spacing, it would not look right and the viewer would not be able to get a true idea of the pages appearence. If you used a readable text (portion of a novel or some such), you would start to read it and get distracted.

The solution typesetters came up with in the 1500's and still use today is a collection with a more-or-less normal distribution of letters that mimics actual text but does not distract the reader.

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

( Many thanks and a tip of the hat to the Lipsum website from which I got this information and the Lorem Ipsum text used on our web pages. )

Posted by DaveH at March 4, 2004 02:56 PM | TrackBack