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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Lorem Ipsum

Have you ever seen this text and wondered what it meant?

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.
If you've ever worked with typography or design, then you probably have. "Lorem ipsum" is used in the graphic design world to fill a page full of text so you can examine the font, the layout, and the overall look of a page without focusing on what the words are saying.

I took four years of Latin in high school, but only passed by the good graces of Father Keenan (bless you for taking pity on me, Father) and always assumed that the reason I had no idea at all what this text meant was because my Latin was just that bad.

Well, it turns out that this would have confused those who actually passed Latin, too, because it's not real Latin. It's mangled, pseudo-Latin derived from a passage from Circero's De finibus bonorum et malorum ("The purposes of goods and evils"; you can read the Latin here and some excerpts in English here). The original passage is reads as follows (ripped from Wikipedia, with the Lorem Ipsum parts emboldened):

Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit, amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur? [33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.
The original passage was discovered by former Latin professor Richard McClintock who made the connection by searching for usages of the word consectetur ("seeks out"). You can find a more in-depth discussion of the Lorem Ipsum passage at The Straight Dope and you can find a Lorem Ipsum generator here.

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Comments on Lorem Ipsum
  Comment from Blogger Patsy at Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:24:00 PM
Funny! I had the same reaction- I was like damn! I thought I remembered more Latin than this!

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.