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Posts Tagged ‘De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum

It’s all Greeking to me…

Web page layout, employing Lorem Ipsum

Studies show that people asked to assess a page design will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. So designers and editors use “Greeking”– non-English text that has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using “Content here, content here,” making it look like readable English.

But while the name is surely an allusions to the old saying “it’s all Greek to me,” the actual text usually employed is in fact Latin; more specifically, it’s “Lorem ipsum”:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum malesuada aliquet tortor vitae mollis. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nulla justo neque, luctus a laoreet quis, auctor et libero. Aenean elementum consequat nisi id ullamcorper. Quisque quis bibendum sem. Nulla id dui tellus, a semper sapien. Mauris est eros, dapibus ut luctus ac, ultricies sed enim. Praesent molestie cursus neque at faucibus. Vestibulum non nisl ac mauris ultricies porttitor eu eget leo. Aliquam porttitor scelerisque arcu eu tempus. Pellentesque faucibus consectetur magna, non consequat erat molestie at. Praesent nisl mi, congue ac semper at, iaculis non felis. Curabitur laoreet mattis augue, id hendrerit lacus hendrerit quis.

While to those of us with rusty Latin it might appear random, it is in fact closely derived 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, a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, is excerpted from a line in section 1.10.32.

While no one is quite sure who first chose it nor why, it’s been in regular use since the 16th Century.

One can generate one’s own passage (of essentially any length) here.

As we fire up Pagemaker, we might recall that it was on this date in 1884 America’s first roller coaster– or “switchback railroad,” as then it was known– began operating at Coney Island. (The “hot dog” had been invented, also at Coney Island, in 1867, and was thus available to trouble the stomachs of the very first coaster riders.)

source: Ultimate Roller Coaster

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