, ,

A Palindrome is a word, phrase, number, even musical sequence that can be read the same way in either direction. Simple example: “Was it a rat I saw?” Another fun one: “Go hang a salami I’m a lasagna hog.”

Palindromes date back to 79 AD when the Latin word square “Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas” (The farmer/sower, Arepo, sows the seeds) scribed into stone was buried in ash.

This palindrome can be read left to right, top to bottom, or right to left, bottom to top. Also top to bottom, left to right and bottom to top right to left. It is also best read while standing on your head! (Not really–but you can let your children try.)

Palindromes can be found in single words: Kayak, racecar; in names: Stanley Yelnats (A character in Holes); in famous phrases: “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!” and in phrases where the words form the palindrome: “You can cage a swallow, can’t you, but you can’t swallow a cage, can you?”

Palindromes can even be found when whole lines become reversed in a poem, lyrics, or stories. This was the type I experimented with in the book trailer for Redemption.

There are even musical palindromes. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 47 in G is nicknamed “the Palindrome”. The third movement goes forward twice and backwards twice and arrives back at the same place.

Mozart’s Scherzo-Duetto di Mozart is played by one violinist while a second violinist is playing the same music inverted. Such genius! (A book was even written about the effect on the brain of listening to Mozart.)

Ok, one more for fun. From Weird Al Yankovic’s song Bob we get palindrome overload.
I, man, am regal – a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I’m Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot

Do you have some favorites?