June 1, 2014 by kittynh
Skeptics tend to like magic tricks and puzzles.
One of my favorite types of “puzzles” is the palindrome. When I taught young children I was always happy if one of the students was “Hannah”. I would then play one of my favorite games with the children, pronouncing their names backwards. Children just learning letter sounds had a great time sounding out their “backwards name”. Any Hannah became the focus for the class, as her name is a palindrome.
So what is the longest palindrome?
It’s very long, and not a lot of fun to read.
My own personal favorite is “Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog.” It has the ease of seeing it is a palindrome, and almost seems to make sense. It will make most young children laugh.
There are also palindrome poems, which aren’t quite palindromes. They are more mirror poems, that read forward and backward, but you have to read the entire word.
My favorite palindrome writer is the Georges Perec. Perec not only wrote 20 books, but he also designed cross word puzzles. He wrote a short story using only one vowel “a”.
“What a Man”, by Georges Perec. Even if you can’t read French, the story is worth looking at. I can’t imagine writing any story with one vowel.
He also wrote a novel “Le Disparition” which takes place in a world where the vowel “e” is missing. 300 pages and no “e”.
Perec’s palindrome can be read here.
Sadly, Perec died young of lung cancer in 1981, at just age 46. However, his clever writing and puzzles live on.
Meanwhile here are some of my favorite palindromes, short but sweet.
SNOT OR PROTONS
A SANTA AT NASA
I have to have one for the Boston sports fans.
BOSTON ODE: DO NOT SOB
Martin Gardner mentioned a novel without the letter E. Maybe it was that of George’s Perec, but I had assumed wrongly that it was from the previous century.