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Until recently, the prevailing view assumed lorem ipsum was born as a nonsense text. “It’s not Latin, though it looks like it, and it actually says nothing.

The decade that brought us Star Trek and Doctor Who also resurrected Cicero—or at least what used to be Cicero—in an attempt to make the days before computerized design a little less painstaking.

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