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Lorem Ipsum mug for my boss (anyone read Latin?) and gift advice.
December 12, 2013 11:16 AM   Subscribe

My boss is retiring. He used to teach Latin. I made some webpage mockups a few months ago and he thought the lorem ipsum (dummy filler text) was very amusing. I'd like to get him a Lorem Ipsum coffee mug for a retirement/holiday gift.

We had cute email exchange about lorem ipsum when I presented the website mockups. It’s based on a text by Cicero...he said "Cicero lives on" and some other stuff. I'm going to put some fancy tea in it because he loves tea and we've talked about tea on several occasions. The Lorem Ipsum site has a store, and I'd rather buy from them and support the site, but the mug they have only says "Lorem Ipsum" and I really want one that has a block of text.

Since he reads Latin, I don't want the translation to contain anything too weird...like someone stuck some random inappropriate joke text in there for lols. I'd be buying the mug from a random cafe press or zazzle store. the regular lorem ipsum text is nonsense but not inappropriate, just sort of silly and random.

This is the only one I can find that I can get an accurate translation of, here. I found this translation

text: Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

translation: But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

is it just me or does this sound kind of dirty (pleasure/pain/BDSM)? if so that would be inappropriate. or could it also apply to retirement in a vague way? or does it just sound like Cicero? I don't know much about it.

there's also this one. Google translator said this

the pain and the Internet loves or pursues or desires the pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure eiusmo. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it. and demoralized by the charms of pleasure to be a vill in the pain that produces no resultant pleasure. so blinded by desire that they can not foresee the to those who fail their duty through weakness of will, because it is pleasure.

not sure that's accurate (euismo?)

and there's this one. I can't really read it or translate it. If anyone here can take a gander at roughly translating it by eye, that would be cool

if all else fails, I could get the official lipsum one, or this one that says "Lorem ipsum dolor", which when I put this in google translator it says "China". OhhhhhK?

Advice?
posted by hotelechozulu to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The bottom line is that "lorem ipsum" as used as dummy text by graphic designers isn't meant to be translated, or a direct version of Cicero's text.

So I'm not really sure what your goal is here? If it's to get a "lorem ipsum" thing as a designers' joke, yeah, you should probably get the various products out there on the market for that. Zazzle has lots that look perfectly appropriate.

If it's to get a latin scholar a mug with Cicero's writing on it, that's a whole different thing. Maybe start with something like these Google Shopping results for "Cicero Mug Latin"?

I'm pretty sure the "lorem ipsum" Cicero passage used isn't meant to be about BDSM.
posted by Sara C. at 11:27 AM on December 12, 2013


It is actually the opposite of BDSM. It says that no one seeks pain for the sake of pain. There is a translation on the Wikipedia page.
posted by musofire at 11:27 AM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I promise you that Cicero wasn't talking about BDSM. By rational pleasures he means the pleasures of the mind; by pain he means hard work.

BUT. That text is not the Lorem Ipsum. As you know, the Lorem Ipsum used in typesetting is a garbled version of a selection from Cicero's On the Ends of Goods and Evils. The mug you link to should be billing itself as a Cicero mug.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:28 AM on December 12, 2013


To clarify: I know Cicero wasn't talking about BDSM, obviously. I just didn't want anything to be misconstrued since he can read Latin. I'm probably thinking too hard about this. but it's my boss and I want it to go over well. I'm thinking of tattoo artists who do tattoos in another language that says "Butts" or something in Japanese for lols, and the person didn't check before hand and doesn't know what it really says. Just checking!
posted by hotelechozulu at 11:38 AM on December 12, 2013


Keep in mind that Lorem Ipsum is something people use with clients, who may or may not read Latin, every day. Unless you and this guy carried on a BDSM tinged affair for years that you're afraid his wife will find out about, seriously, just get him the Lorem Ipsum mug you want to get him. It'll be fine. It's not secretly porn.
posted by Sara C. at 11:46 AM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just didn't want anything to be misconstrued since he can read Latin.

If he is literate in Latin, he's not likely to misconstrue the writing on the mug. He's not going to think Cicero was talking about anything dirty. Please take this from someone who is literate in Japanese (and to a lesser extent, Chinese) and often receives items featuring hanzi/kanji as gifts. We know what things say, and we definitely know what is gibberish.

If I were you, instead of trying to find a "translation" of the lorem ipsum gibberish, I would focus on a legitimate Latin text if the excerpted text of On the Ends of Goods and Evils is not satisfactory for whatever reason. Perhaps something from Marcus Aurelius or Virgil? Find an English translation and then locate the original text, which you can then use to make your own mug on Zazzle or a similar site.

Lastly, I don't think you need to worry about "supporting" any particular website. If you select any classical text for the mug, it is going to be public domain.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:59 AM on December 12, 2013


Not to threadsit, but one more clarification because I sound like a ditz in this post. I know what lorem ipsum is. I use it a lot on projects and don't worry about what it says because it's filler text and very few people read Latin anyway. When we look at it, it looks like nonsense, but he taught Latin, and he read it when I showed it to him.

The point of this question is...if I'm buy from a random zazzle person, I'd want to make sure that they didn't stick something weird/unofficial in the text, because he can read it. Some of the words will be nonsense, of course, but a lot of it is readable, randomly generated Latin from Cicero, even if it doesn't make sense. If I could buy a block text mug from the official lipsum store, I'd buy that without worrying over the text, because I'd know it's legit lorem ipsum random dummy filler text, but since it's another seller, I wanted to check. I'm just doing due diligence because I don't read Latin and he does.

I'm going to get the mug that I like and not worry over the text. Thanks!
posted by hotelechozulu at 11:59 AM on December 12, 2013


This one looks perfect for your needs; it says "Lorem ipsum" in big letters and has a lot of the rest of it ("a block of text") underneath. I still don't understand why you're worried about the translation. It's lorem ipsum, everybody's familiar with it, your boss knows the Cicero passage, what's the problem?
posted by languagehat at 12:07 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the point is that if some non-Latin-knowin' CafePress (Zazzle, whatever) person put some random chunk in there from somewhere else to fill it out, it could be a random chunk that's inappropriate. Does that make sense?
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:11 PM on December 12, 2013


You can't actually read all of the standard lorem ipsum text, because it's been modified so that words are missing from sentences, words are chopped in half, or random letters are added to words. Even in Latin, parts of it are nonsense.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:36 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I think the point is that if some non-Latin-knowin' CafePress (Zazzle, whatever) person put some random chunk in there from somewhere else to fill it out, it could be a random chunk that's inappropriate. Does that make sense?

No, because it's right there in the illustration. You can see the text and compare it with known lorem ipsum. The only difference I see is that it has "eiusmo" for the usual "eiusmod," which could be their error or it could be an alternate version; it doesn't matter either way, because they're equally meaningless. (Cicero has "eius modi.") Seriously, this is much ado about nothing. There are no hidden passages of pornography. It's just lorem ipsum. Buy the one you think looks best and put that plate of beans back in the fridge.
posted by languagehat at 1:50 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


"put that plate of beans back in the fridge" is my new life motto. :)
posted by hotelechozulu at 7:12 AM on December 13, 2013


How to Insult, Abuse & Insinuate in Classical Latin will give you lots of ideas.
posted by three blind mice at 11:16 AM on December 13, 2013


I've actually come across some scholarship connecting stoicism and masochism, so your observation isn't completely unfounded, just so you know. That being said, that's certainly not the common interpretation of the text (nor is the text even remotely sexually explicit, regardless), so you should feel free to give Lorem Ipsum swag to your boss or whomever.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:41 AM on December 13, 2013


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