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The most well-known dummy text is the ‘Lorem Ipsum’, which is said to have originated in the 16th century. Lorem Ipsum is composed in a pseudo-Latin language which more or less corresponds to ‘proper’ Latin. It contains a series of real Latin words. This ancient dummy text is also incomprehensible, but it imitates the rhythm of most European languages in Latin script. The advantage of its Latin origin and the relative meaninglessness of Lorum Ipsum is that the text does not attract attention to itself or distract the viewer’s attention from the layout.

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.
Peter Daniel – Travel Magazine

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One disadvantage of Lorum Ipsum is that in Latin certain letters appear more frequently than others – which creates a distinct visual impression. Moreover, in Latin only words at the beginning of sentences are capitalized; this means that Lorem Ipsum cannot accurately represent, for example, German, in which all nouns are capitalized. Thus, Lorem Ipsum has only limited suitability as a visual filler for German texts. If the fill text is intended to illustrate the characteristics of different typefaces, it sometimes makes sense to select texts containing the various letters and symbols specific to the output language.

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According to most sources, Lorum Ipsum can be traced back to a text composed by Cicero in 45 BC. Allegedly, a Latin scholar established the origin of the text by compiling all the instances of the unusual word ‘consectetur’ he could find and eventually recognized it as a passage from ‘De finibus bonorum et malorum’ (On the extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, a book that was very popular in the Middle Ages: “Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit, amet, consectetur, adipisci velit… ” (Approximately: “Nor is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain…”). A typical Lorem Ipsum text goes like this: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim …”.

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