What is all this weird pseudo Latin?

I clicked on a smillie on another forum to move it and the Image Properties box popped up. The “Preview” box was full of weird Latin like writing.

Here’s a pic I took of it with my phone (computer couldn’t do a screen capture of it for some reason).
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/522/19757058426_d4e70eb582_h.jpg

Here’s the text:

and here’s the translation from Google Translate.


The master speaks.

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Actually, it’s Greek!

I’m sure the links have it, but “lorem ipsum dolor …” is just dummy mock-up text that’s used by designers in place of real text.

I just attended a video meeting today about our company’s new website, and the demo used dummy text generated by something called “Cupcake Ipsum” that was loaded with the names of various sugary confections.

You can put it into any Word document by typing =lorem() at the beginning of any line.

=rand() will add three paragraphs of random English text.

That’s pretty cool. I never knew that. The lorem one doesn’t work for me, but “=rand()” gives me a bunch of “quick brown fox…” lines. Neat.

My favorite pseudo Latin is:
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.
You can find this all over the Internet these days, but I first saw it circa 1972, from a college buddy back then, long before the Internet was widely available.

This is allegedly the Devil’s response to the question posed by Sir Thomas Aquinas: “Just what to you do in Hell anyway?” and supposedly means “We gather in the night and are consumed by fire.” Note that it’s also a palindrome.

I showed it to a college professor once. He took it to a Latin professor over in the Language Arts department. The word I got back was, the Latin professor declared it to be unintelligible gibberish.

I’m going to have to remember that.

It’s only partially gibberish.

“Girum” does not appear to be a legitimate classical latin word, and is presumably of medieval origin possibly back-formed from Italian “giro” which descended from the Latin that gives us “gyre”. It may have been in use in common speech, but is not attested to in literature outside of that quote. If Italian “giro” came from a legitimate Latin word, it would be from girus, and girum would be accusative. “In” + Accusative in Latin = “Into” in English. “Nocte” is ablative of “night” meaning “with respect to/by means of the night” in general, but “at night” would also be a reasonable translation. The rest of the sentence appears fine; “imus” is 1st person plural of “to go”, et = and, “consumimur” is 1st person plural passive and can mean “to consume”, and “igni” is ablative of “fire”. So we have “We go into the gyre at night and are consumed by fire”.

It might be fairly meaningless, but it seems more intelligible than the stupid line about Arepo, which requires you know that Arepo is a name.

Giro and gyre don’t quite seem to be translations of each other. I’ve encountered giro used to mean “more or less , thereabouts” both to refer to time and space, as well as “surrounding”, “all around” and “all over”. Someone agrees to meet with you giro la piazza, it means “search for me in the neighborhood of the square”; they tell you there will be people giro la piazza and it may mean that there will be some people there or that the square and its surroundings will be jam-packed.

A possible translation matching Larousse’s 8 and the Italian usages could be “all through the Night we are consumed by Fire”.

Here’s more information about the Devil’s line.

Here’s the interesting part:

The gira in girasol is a verbal form, from girar (to go around, turn around or go in circles) - a sunflower’s turn is kind of the opposite of a gira, as giros go.

When I started out making websites for clients, I’d put in some text that may have been the kind of thing their website might use - and half the time it ended up in the finished product even though it wasn’t my job to write the copy; I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about.

Ever since then I’ve used Lorem Ipsum text, so that it’s blatantly obvious to the client that it needs to be written up by their team, not me.

It never occurred to me that In girum… might be an actual Latin or Latin-like palindrome of ancient construction. I always just thought it was some relatively modern invention, by some modern who wanted to make up a Latin palindrome, and this is what he came up with. And came up with a contrived backstory too about Aquinas. Either way, one can understand that it might be necessary to play fast and loose with the grammar and word forms to contrive a palindrome.

Are we actually to believe that this palindrome has been around since antiquity (or at least for some long long time)?

I never knew that Arepo square was of genuine ancient origin either. Likewise, I always thought it was some modern invention that someone wrote in a book and made it to look ancient. But that Wiki page shows many photos of it that seem to be ancient. Or that whole thing just a big whoosh?

The Sator square has definitely been around a long time - at least one has been found in the ruins of Pompeii.

Yeppers. It is just place-holder text until replaced by actual content.
I never took the time to read what was actually said.

Ha! Glad to know this happens to other people, too. One client even ended up doing a whole ad campaign around a dummy ad I made for one spot on their site.

“Lorem ipsum” is good, it saves people from themselves.

If you prefer something more modern, there’s http://loremgibson.com/