Archive for January, 2015

I once wrote a palindrome. I think it’s a good one. Here it is:

I maim Nigel’s leg in Miami.

I’ve googled this palindrome; I’m reasonably certain no one else has thought of it. But I can’t be sure. That’s because the process by which I wrote the palindrome seems so simple and inevitable in hindsight.

How on Earth did I ever come up with this? Was it a moment of inspiration? Hours of toil? Therein lies a tale.

Here’s a secret of mine: I automatically reverse words, in my head. Not when I’m reading a book, and not when I’m writing, but when I see a word on a sign, or displayed prominently somewhere. If I see a stop sign, I immediately (and subconsciously) notice that it says “POTS” backwards. When I see the jar in a restaurant that says “tips”, I instantly notice that it is “spit” backwards. And so on. I don’t know how common this is, but I’ve always done it. It’s a sort of “word-dyslexia” although it has never inconvenienced me in any way.


Spit on no tips!

Just the other day, I saw the word “Avalon”. Immediately, I saw that it is “no lava” in reverse. As a mental exercise, I tried to make a palindrome using Avalon. After 30 seconds, I had composed the lame “No lava tub, but Avalon.” Hardly impressive.

But the one about Nigel’s leg…I think it’s a grade-A palindrome. Up there with “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!” and “Dog food lid: dildo of God.” How, exactly, did I write the palindrome?

One day, I saw “Miami” on a sign. I thought: “I maim”. Hmmm. Looks like a palindrome is possible. Here, then, are my attempts, palindromic at every step:

I maim Miami.

I maim Ni in Miami.

[Ni is not really a name. What names begin with Ni? Nikita, Nick, Nina, Nigel. Hey!]

I maim Nigel leg in Miami.

I maim Nigel’s leg in Miami.

That’s it. The whole process took maybe 3 minutes, and was triggered by seeing a sign with the word “Miami” on it. Nigel is not a common name in the USA, so maybe the palindrome gets an A- as opposed to an A. But hopefully my 3 fans in the UK (including chess grandmaster Nigel Short?) will give me a top score.

I’ll keep working on writing new palindromes. My latest observation is that “Pacer” is “recap” backwards. So I wonder if sports writers in Indiana give a “Pacer recap” after every game. If they don’t, they should. The world needs more palindromes.


Leg (in Sparta) traps Nigel?

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