RE: "lorem ipsum", "brown fox" & "enter title here" PDF titles

Subject: RE: "lorem ipsum", "brown fox" & "enter title here" PDF titles
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 11:46:45 -0500

Good old "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam
nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna" -- I'm filling in a
website template and I am so sick of seeing this in every conceivable

Just in case anybody on this list does not know, this is a process known as
"greeking". It was first used by people setting hot type to plan the
spacings for newsletter sheets. Setting each letter into place on the stamp
press was very time-consuming so it was important to be able to write the
articles in the exact length available. Editors and college professors
really did give orders like "Give me eight column inches on the donkey
basketball game."

Now we can just change the font size from 12 to 11 to squeeze in those extra
couple of lines. Wow.

Why Latin came to be used for the "greeking" process is just one of those
_really_ arcane language lore thingies. It's probably because early MS
fonts didn't include Greek letters. They were used for the hot type
placeholders precisely because there was no mistaking them for English text.

I was privileged and lucky enough to be part of a journalism class from
Potsdam State to be taken to Quebec to witness the very last "hot type" run
of a major daily newspaper in North America. It was 1973 or 1974, and they
went to the new 100% computerized typesetting system on the next day.

We also stopped by the Parliament Building but couldn't get in for a tour
because Kosygin or somebody was visiting. We milled around and flirted with
the plains-clothes Mounties and eventually got back on our bus to go play
"I'll have what he had except" at the biggest Chinese restaurant I've ever

We had witnessed the last run of the greatest technology of our potential
profession, one which had been used essentially without much change since
Gutenberg, and that was enough history for us. Other than being suitably
awed by the size of those major metropolitan presses, we were actually more
impressed by our professor's proficiency with chopsticks.

Anyway, that's where "lorem ipsum" originally came from.

Dori Green


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"lorem ipsum", "brown fox" & "enter title here" PDF titles: From: Shlomo Perets

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