Serendipity has a positive effect on all our lives. So why not make it happen more often.
October 24, 2012
Palingrams are phrases that read the same backwards and forwards. Horizontal and vertical, if need be.
It's basically the same as a palindrome, which is a single word that can be read the same in all those directions.
Not to be confused with a Palindrone, which is indecipherable in any direction.
What got me thinking about all this was getting a group email we all hate and we all read.
“I am sending this only to my smart friends. I could not figure it out and had to look at the answer. See if you can figure out what these words have in common.”
Take a moment if you'd like.
Okay, you're back.
Yes, it's true if you removed the first letter of each you would have a perfectly imperfect palindrome, with the only problem being none them are real words.
The answer? These are the only words in the English language that if you stuck the first letter on the end, it would read the same backwards.
Welcome to our Friday Lite Language series.
Are you still with me?
Palindromes occur in many western languages, but they are particularly prevalent in English due to the wide variety of reversible letter pairs within words.
Finnish, however, has been described as "the language of palindromes."
I (a perfect palindrome) could cite a few lengthy examples but that would probably finish off this post.
According to Bill Bryson's “Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way," palindromes are at least 2,000 years old.
The ancient Greeks inscribed the palindrome "ΝΙΨΟΝΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑΜΗΜΟΝΑΝΟΨΙΝ" in lavatories, meaning "Wash the sin as well as the face."
Thought you’d want to know that.
The longest palindrome in the English language is REDIVIDER. Racecar is another classic example.
And, besides Napoleon's, phrases: MADAM I'M ADAM. Do geese see God? Was it Eliot's toilet I saw? Never odd or even.
Then there are palindromic numbers like 58285. And we'll try to remind each other on the next palindromic date, 02/02/2020.
A musical palindrome, like parts of Bach's "Crab Canon," is a great way to exercise your eyes, fingers, brain and make you a better sight-reader.
And, of course, anyway you look at it you’re always free to drome on in the Eye.
The Eye being, as your own keen eyes have noticed, a perfect palindrome.