Have you ever wondered what would happen if we didn’t read English from left to right. Imagine if you read this “sentence from right to left” – this is what you would see – “tfel ot ohgir morf ecnetnes.”
Imagine then a word or sentence that you can read from left to right or right to left or up to down and still come up with the same thing – that’s a palindrome. For instance the word racecar and the name Hannah are palindromes.
Neither spaces nor punctuation are usually taken into consideration when constructing sentences that are palindromes. The most famous of palindromes is “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.” Referring of course to President Theodore Roosevelt.
Palindromes are a type of palingramcalled letter palingrams. A palingram is a sentence in which the letters, syllables, or words read the same backward as they do forward. The sentence, “He was, was he?” is a word palingram, because the words can be placed in reverse order and still read the same.
When letter spaces are properly positioned as well, the effect is even better. An example would be another famous palindrome “Able was I ere I saw Elba.” attributed to Napoleon on his first sighting of Elba, the island where he was exiled.
The sentence, “I did, did I?” is not only a wordpalingram but a letter palingram (or palindrome) to boot.
Palindromes are all over the place and once you know what they are you will realize that many of the words that we use on an everyday basis are considered palindrome words because of their ability to be read forward or backward without a change in spelling.
In fact, there are hundreds of palindromes in the English language. Perhaps we could read from right to left or up to down if we worked really hard at it. There are even palindrome sentences and palindrome paragraphs that make sense…and some that make very little sense but still work. When creating a palindrome sentence it is not important whether the actual syllables match both ways, only that the letters are correct. However, if you make a palindrome sentence or palindrome paragraph that actually has the same syllables and spaces both forward and backwards it is considered even remarkable.
Here is one example of apalingram paragraph. The video reads the exact opposite, backwards as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite up to down:
A number of palindromes are given below Can you make up one of your own?
Race fast, safe car.
A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.
A dog, a plan, a canal: Pagoda.
Desserts, I stressed!
Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard.
Live not on Evil.
Madam, I’m Adam.
Never odd or even.
No lemon, no melon.
Was it a car or a cat I saw?
“Not New York.” Roy went on.
Not so, Boston.