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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-06-25 04:05
Subject: [language] Can’t sleep, palindromes will eat me
Security: Public
Tags:funny, language

Light sleeper tonight. Not medical issues, more like one of my once-every-week-or-ten-days not quite sleeping heavily. For some reason, my mind has been racing on palindromes. I don’t mean good ones, I mean more along the lines of “Bacon’s town wots no cab.”

Here’s a few others Fred coughed up in the dark:

“O, had I but stub Idaho.”
“Sax Etta at Texas.”
“Some gals slag emos.”
“May drawer reward yam.”
“Emit not on time.”

Each of those has some meaning, if you torture them enough. I also got to thinking about palindromic phrases, such as:

“and DNA”
“race car”
“sward draws”

What does this mean? Heck if I know. I think my story processor blew a vacuum tube or something.

What’s your favorite palindrome?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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User: squirrel_monkey
Date: 2008-06-25 11:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Was it a cat I saw?
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Karrin Jackson
User: karjack
Date: 2008-06-25 11:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"No sir, away! A papaya war is on!"

I play Kingdom of Loathing. That one always gets me.
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2008-06-25 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wrote a pantoum based on palindromes once. Here it is:

Ten Animals I Slam in a Net

Rats live on no evil star
Reversed and read backwards is like
Was it a car or a cat I saw
And makes just as much sense.

Reversed and read backwards is like
The way I see the world
And makes just as much sense
Since I always report it forwards.

The way I see the world
Madam, in Eden, I'm Adam
Since I always report it forward
Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Madam, in Eden, I'm Adam
Is a strong statement of individuality.
Able was I ere I saw Elba
Is a level of self knowledge.

Is a strong statement of individuality
To be questioned by anyone?
Is a level of self knowledge
Backwards or forwards?

To be questioned by anyone
On how to perceive experience
Backwards or forwards
Makes me want to ask and say:

Was it a car or a cat I saw
Rats live on no evil star.

James Van Pelt
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Aaron Leis
User: ripperbard
Date: 2008-06-25 16:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Coeditor-at-large polkabeast did his Masters Thesis in Linguistics (Poetics) on palindromes and reverse-order structure. Wrote a ton of them, too, the longest one being 366 words / 1273 letters. I'll have to let him know you're looking for palindromes. Until then, here are two of his I remember off the top of....

"Bob has inept penis. Ah Bob."
"Did I poop? I did."
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User: sevoo
Date: 2008-06-25 17:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
ee! "Some gals slag emos" is my new favorite palindrdome.
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Ruthanne Reid
User: ruthannereid
Date: 2008-06-25 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?"
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User: polkabeast
Date: 2008-06-25 21:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey, Jay.

I am an author of palindromes, and I wrote my Master's thesis about the implications of recursive structures in nature to palindromes in literature. If you are interested, you can read Outer Reaches of the Palindrome. The first chapter is a brutal short story contextualizing several palindromes, and the chapters following that pretty much lay out groundwork for literary palindrome theory. Not to brag. I couldn't find any theory, so I had to read science and math books and Godel, Escher, Bach and books about recursive linguistics, et cetera.

Anyway, here are some favorites of mine. I'm glad to know that other people out there think about palindromes.

Sins seer Lee.
Michael Constantine McConnell

Five Disturbing Palindromes (NthZine, 2004)

“No, Keep Rod on,” a brute lisps. “I'll rig a Tulsa siren, rut an item. Albinos, Mister [B]ret Simson, I blame. “Tina Turner is a slut,” a girl lisps. “I let urban odor peek on.”

“Relapse,” he pondered. “No plasma, yet a straw, Latin egret-sewer [g]rew Ester genital warts, ate yams,” Al pondered. “Nope, he's paler.”

Tia, winepots rub sun as risen. Infinity's s[a]ssy tin if nine sirs' anus burst open. I wait.

Part Adam, I, Maria, help pins repel a lio[n], oil a leper's nipple hair. Am I mad? A trap?

Sun as Tim or felt tips laminate [w]et animal spittle from its anus.

Untitled Palindrome

Dog-bard, a wall arose. Soon, a red, nude man-era stole Gail of deli, and, lo, my tit-net carts bade, “trap millions' parts,” but a snag rose many fits, and I'd reward no cabs. Eve[n] Eve's bacon drawer did nastify names, organs, a tub, straps. No ill-imparted, abstract-entity mold nailed foliage. Lots are named under a noose's oral law - a drab god.

Palindrome for Ethan Bell (Backwards City Review, 2003)

Signing is not, new pet son. Pass awe? Not so! No green I plan. I dog, Miss, I hog; I say, “no best-fill lasts”; I’m red now – still, I hate new. Now go, fat asleep user-god. Irate, we do not gnash, sag, nor we nab. Run as muskcats poll a gym-barge (gasp). I help made-wart stew stiff. Is a name surer, eh, sir, eh, Toro? Do fist lame Rome; yes, sell war-cotton’s nog at cola. I rob rasta-prod of less. Red dunes I rot. No, do not spill, Lord; puff its rosecap’s red nub. Milk-lawyer, pot nine men in stunt news. A doctor sits – I’m fine! Desire Warren’s lip to help miss. A warning (Is it? Is not?) noses a rest, sir. Whore, work curt as a sin-net set! I knob mud eras, nag! Rode cane melts. I, penis, yawn. I sub betrayal. Prose werewolf, I did not send a fag, nor we rip mud as a side wang. Dew as pun, we stub. Diaper, fill a bastion. Stun-saw tips a rat sewn idle. Homemade porn? Ah, ten odes re[v]ersed on: Ethan roped a memo held in west. A rasp – it was nuts? No, it’s a ball if repaid but, sewn up, sawed, gnawed, is a sad umpire. Wrong a fad nest on. Did I flower ewes or play art? Ebb us in ways, in epistle men – aced organs are dumb on kites. Tennis as a truck rower, oh wrists, erases on tons. It, I sign-in raw; as simple, hot pilsner, rawer, is Eden if mist is rot, codas went nuts. Nine men, into prey, walk, limb under spaces or stiff-up – droll lips to nod onto risen udders. Self-odor pats arborial octagons not to crawl less, eye more malts if odor-other is here, ruse-man – as if fits; wet strawed, ample hips age. “Grab my gallop-stack,” sums an urbane wrong. Ash sang to node-wet, arid ogres, up eels, at a fog won. We net a hill. Its wonder mists all, lifts ebony as I go hiss. I’m god in alpine – ergo: no stone was sap. No step went on – signing is.


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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2008-06-25 21:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And we can't forget that Simpsons classic:

O mem sahib, Bart. Rabbi has memo.
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2008-06-25 21:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No palindromes, I'm afraid, but the line "I think my story processor blew a vacuum tube or something" made my afternoon [g].
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