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The Straight Dope: What does the filler text "lorem ipsum" mean?

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Fun, quick read.  I like the hypothesis that this has been the industry standard dummy text since the 1500s, though this apparently has not been verified... 

McClintock recalled having seen lorem ipsum in a book of early metal type samples, which commonly used extracts from the classics. "What I find remarkable," he told B&A, "is that this text has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since some printer in the 1500s took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book; it has survived not only four centuries of letter-by-letter resetting but even the leap into electronic typesetting, essentially unchanged." So much for the transitory nature of content in the information age.

Just one problem. When I spoke to McClintock recently, he said he'd been unable to locate the old type sample in which he thought he'd seen lorem ipsum. The earliest he could definitely trace back the passage was Letraset press-type sheets, which dated back only a few decades. But come on, you think graphic arts supply houses were hiring classics scholars in the 1960s? Well, maybe they were. But it's easier to believe that someone at Letraset simply copied the text from an old hot-type source. We're now faced with the mere technical detail of figuring out which one.


I also enjoy this Lorem Ipsum generator:

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