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Lorem Ipsum for the Smarty Pants

by Davina on October 31, 2011

Some facts about Lorem Ipsum

You might have heard of Lorem Ipsum before, but if not, let me briefly explain what it is. Designers and artists in the advertising and publishing industry use Lorem Ipsum as dummy text – a placeholder – when producing layouts for artwork. This offers colleagues and clients an opportunity to view the layout without being distracted by content.

As a proofreader, I get a break when I see Lorem Ipsum in a layout. For instance, when I’m proofing website layouts I just need to check placement of dummy copy in the wireframes against the copy deck. It’s a great way to speed up the process when a project is in the early stages of production.

Lorem Ipsum has been used in the industry since the 1500s, though some variations have been created over the years. As per the site Lorem Ipusm, the following standardized passage is most commonly used:

“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.”

What I didn’t know is that Lorem Ipsum is not just random text. It is actually over 2,000 years old, having roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, written by Roman orator, politician and philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero. It was taken from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, translated as “On the Ends of Good and Evil.”

Your Lorem Ipsum challenge

The idea for this post was generated by a conversation I had with a friend on Google Plus after sharing a link to Bacon Ipsum | A Meatier Lorem Ipsum Generator. He joked that all he needed was one for eggs. And so, I took it upon myself to create one!

Sunny side up, raw, over easy, double yolked, snotty, runny yolks, beaten, tempuring, basted, scrambled, coddled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled. Organic, pastuerized, powdered, poached, fried, omelette, frittata, eggs Benedict, deviled, pickled. Quiche, souffle, meringue. Ostrich. Easter egg. Shell, rotten, cracked. Incubation, germinate, laid, albumen, blastoderm, white, chalaza, brown, vitelline membrane, peeling. Egg carton. Pullet. Kosher. Dozen.

Small, medium, large, extra large. Salmonella. Huevos, oology, candling. Spotted, speckled, dinosaur, Napoleonic, Humpty Dumpty, pysanka, egging, Egg of Columbus, egg tempera, free range, grade, lecithin, organic. AA, A, B. Eggnog, egg salad, egg roll, mayonnaise, Béarnaise sauce, mousseline, hollandaise sauce. Equinox. Cholesterol, protein, lutein, fat. Robin. Pace egging, egg tapping, egg rolling, egg hunt, egg drop, egg toss. Embryo.

It took about a half hour to come up with this, with the help of my trusted online friend Wikipedia. I had fun with it and was surprised by how many different subjects the study of the egg – oology – I was lead to: history, cuisine, nursery rhymes, biology, anatomy, nature. The list goes on.

Now it’s your turn to take on this challenge. Pick a topic. Any topic will do: sports, writing, shoes, babies, technology, humour. You might surprise yourself at what you’ll learn. In addition, it’s a great way to pass some time and perhaps even find some motivation for new writing of your own. Thanks to my G+ friend for inspiring me to write this blog post!

If you take on this challenge, feel free to post your creation in the comment section, or on your blog. I’d love to see it!

Get cracking! :-)

What genre would you choose? 

P.S. After I published this post, Mike over at Exit 78 published Lorem Ipsum-Time Lapse. He created this from 899 photos taken over a period of about 75 minutes, compressing the video to about 53 seconds. Check out the cloud formations.

Image Credit: Vectorgraphicsfree.com

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{ 15 comments }

Mike Goad October 31, 2011 at 11:33 am

I’ve actually had a link to the lorem ipsum site — just never got around to doing a post on it. ;)
Mike Goad´s last blog post ..Across from Frontier Park, Hays, Kansas

Davina October 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Hi Mike.
Maybe this will nudge you to write that post. It would be neat to see what spin you’ll put on it. :)

Mike Goad October 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Done… Check it out.
Mike Goad´s last blog post ..Lorem ipsum–time lapse.

Davina November 1, 2011 at 7:42 am

Awesome work, Mike! I love your time-lapse videos. Lorem Ipsum has never looked better. But I have to be honest; I preferred looking at the clouds in your video :)

Mike Goad November 1, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thanks. The raw video was already done. All I had to do to finish it was find appropriate music, include credits at the end, upload the video to YouTube and apply the audioswap feature to add the music track.
Mike Goad´s last blog post ..Lorem ipsum–time lapse.

patricia November 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Wow this is something I had never heard of before, but it is very interesting indeed…and I learned something new – which I am not sure I still understand how to write one. I hope you will get some more examples….Where is Hillary? She would be fabulous at this?

Always, always good to learn something new and to see you on your blog.

Thank you for your good listening….I surely needed that
patricia´s last blog post ..What are you Afraid of?

Barbara Swafford November 2, 2011 at 1:15 am

Wow Davina,

You’re good. Love the “get cracking” comment. lol

I did not know Lorem ipsum was not random text but instead is over 2000 years old. I first remember seeing it on different themes when I started blogging but just figured it was gooblie-gook. (sp) Who knew?
Barbara Swafford´s last blog post ..Why Bloggers Keep Blogging Against The Odds

Davina November 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

Mike, I would never have guessed there was so much involved in this. It looks easy, when I’m just sitting there enjoying the video. Love the music you chose too.

Thanks, Patricia.
It has been a while! There is no rule to writing a Lorem Ipsum, really. The one I wrote is a mock Lorem Ipsum with the first example being the standardized version. If you want to take on the challenge it just involves a little bit of time and research. Pick a topic and surf the Internet to find tidbits of information. Wikipedia is a good place to start because there are links that will take you places. Then you pick words associated with your topic and arrange them in a few paragraphs. And that’s it.

Yes, I wonder where Hilary is. I think she would like the history factor in this.

LOL, Barbara.
That was a last-minute thought and it was perfect! :-) I know! I always thought it was gooblie-gook too. I was impressed that there is history to this.

Hilary November 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

Hi Everyone! .. I’m lurking .. no just got here and thank goodness I didn’t look earlier when I had no time ..

I’m befuddled by the Bacon man’s suggestion that we try his generator .. is that just the human brain generator ..??!!??!?!?!?

I spend my life doing this …. and always changing my mind from the original thought and never searching too far … can definitely see where this is leading us ..

Great thoughts Davina and Mike, and Patricia … I now wish I knew more Latin – but I usually can recognise enough ..

Fascinating … though – I’ll be a-thinking … and be back to you .. cheers for now – Hilary

PS I wonder what my blog posts would throw up ….

http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/

Davina November 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Hi Hilary!

It’s always nice to see your smiling face :-) Hugs!

I’m a little befuddled by the Bacon man too, hehe. I prefer to make my own Lorem Ipsum. I studied Latin in Grade 11 and quite enjoyed it actually… not necessarily the language itself, but the ambiance of it all. To this day I only remember the flavour and not the words.

This was quite an exercise. I could see this being right up your alley! Cheers to you too.

Chris Edgar November 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

Wait a minute, you’re not going to tell me what the ends of good and evil are? I’ll tell you what, Davina — I’ll do that oology word association exercise if you translate the Lorem Ipsum speech using your undoubtedly prodigious Latin skills. :)
Chris Edgar´s last blog post ..Yes, This Is Actually Me Singing

J.D. Meier November 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

Great job and it’s nice to have some new choices on the scene.

I think snotty is one of those descriptors I try to brush away when I’m making eggs, even if it is true ;)
J.D. Meier´s last blog post ..Whiteboard Notes on Happiness

Davina November 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

LOL, Chris.
Sorry, I think you’re SOL on that one :-)

Hi J.D.
So nice to see you here! :) Oh, I’m with you on “snotty”… lol. Not very appetizing!

Doug Gene January 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Great facts about Lorem Ipsum. I previously hadn’t known anything about it.
Doug Gene´s last blog post ..Hiking in the Snowy Mountain

Davina January 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

Same here, Doug.
Thanks. It was an interesting research project. I initially thought lorem ipsum was just mumbo jumbo.

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