I have always been curious of the meaning behind the latin sounding “lorem ipsum” text frequently used as “placeholder text” by graphical designers. Here’s what I found:

The phrase originates from a speech, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, made by Marcus Tullius Cicero in the year 45 BC. The latin title means something like “On the Ends of Goods and Evils” and debates the purpose of good and bad in the world. The most commonly found text reads so:

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. (Source: Wikipedia)

Translated into English this means

“Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?” (Source: H. Rackham’s, 1914)

The first application to make use of the phrase in computing was Aldus PageMaker, the predecessor of most modern desktop publishing software, introduced in 1985 for the Apple Macintosh platform.