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This picture was taken in the South Gobi desert

Until recently, the prevailing view assumed <em>lorem ipsum</em> was born as a nonsense text. “It’s not Latin, though it looks like it, and it actually says nothing,” <em>Before & After</em> magazine answered a curious reader, “Its ‘words’ loosely approximate the frequency with which letters occur in English, which is why at a glance it looks pretty real.”

As Cicero would put it, “Um, not so fast.”

The placeholder text, beginning with the line <em>“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit”</em>, looks like Latin because in its youth, centuries ago, it was Latin.

Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar from Hampden-Sydney College, is credited with discovering the source behind the ubiquitous filler text. In seeing a sample of <em>lorem ipsum</em>, his interest was piqued by <em>consectetur</em>—a genuine, albeit rare, Latin word. Consulting a Latin dictionary led McClintock to a passage from <em>De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum</em> (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”), a first-century B.C. text from the Roman philosopher Cicero.

Until recently, the prevailing view assumed <em>lorem ipsum</em> was born as a nonsense text. “It’s not Latin, though it looks like it, and it actually says nothing,” <em>Before & After</em> magazine answered a curious reader, “Its ‘words’ loosely approximate the frequency with which letters occur in English, which is why at a glance it looks pretty real.”

As Cicero would put it, “Um, not so fast.”

The placeholder text, beginning with the line <em>“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit”</em>, looks like Latin because in its youth, centuries ago, it was Latin.

Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar from Hampden-Sydney College, is credited with discovering the source behind the ubiquitous filler text. In seeing a sample of <em>lorem ipsum</em>, his interest was piqued by <em>consectetur</em>—a genuine, albeit rare, Latin word. Consulting a Latin dictionary led McClintock to a passage from <em>De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum</em> (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”), a first-century B.C. text from the Roman philosopher Cicero.

Until recently, the prevailing view assumed <em>lorem ipsum</em> was born as a nonsense text. “It’s not Latin, though it looks like it, and it actually says nothing,” <em>Before & After</em> magazine answered a curious reader, “Its ‘words’ loosely approximate the frequency with which letters occur in English, which is why at a glance it looks pretty real.”

As Cicero would put it, “Um, not so fast.”

The placeholder text, beginning with the line <em>“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit”</em>, looks like Latin because in its youth, centuries ago, it was Latin.

Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar from Hampden-Sydney College, is credited with discovering the source behind the ubiquitous filler text. In seeing a sample of <em>lorem ipsum</em>, his interest was piqued by <em>consectetur</em>—a genuine, albeit rare, Latin word. Consulting a Latin dictionary led McClintock to a passage from <em>De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum</em> (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”), a first-century B.C. text from the Roman philosopher Cicero.

Until recently, the prevailing view assumed <em>lorem ipsum</em> was born as a nonsense text. “It’s not Latin, though it looks like it, and it actually says nothing,” <em>Before & After</em> magazine answered a curious reader, “Its ‘words’ loosely approximate the frequency with which letters occur in English, which is why at a glance it looks pretty real.”

As Cicero would put it, “Um, not so fast.”

The placeholder text, beginning with the line <em>“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit”</em>, looks like Latin because in its youth, centuries ago, it was Latin.

Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar from Hampden-Sydney College, is credited with discovering the source behind the ubiquitous filler text. In seeing a sample of <em>lorem ipsum</em>, his interest was piqued by <em>consectetur</em>—a genuine, albeit rare, Latin word. Consulting a Latin dictionary led McClintock to a passage from <em>De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum</em> (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”), a first-century B.C. text from the Roman philosopher Cicero.

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