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The Origins of Ditto and Mimeograph

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You may remember ditto machines (especially their smell), or even further back, mimeograph sheets. Both the words ditto and mimeograph were originally brand names. The word ditto goes back to an Italian word that means said, while mimeograph comes from Greek words that mean “to write the same.” Later came Xerox machines, whose name derives from the Greek word xeros, or dry, a reference to the printing process. From the same Greek root comes xeriscaping, which is landscaping that requries little or no water. Other terms for similar types of printing devices are formograph, mimeoscope, spirit duplicator, hectograph, roneograph, and pyrograph. This is part of a complete episode.

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