or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I like wordplay, sort of: I'm very fond of cryptic crosswords, which depend on it, and I sure do like banging words around to see what happens. But I hate puns (the lowest form of wit, indeed), and palindromes are not too far behind. So laboured, so tortured, so senseless!

There are, though, some good ones, and they're usually the shorter ones. The only palindromes I can really love are the ones that, like good cryptic-crossword clues, can masquerade as real sentences--that don't excite any suspicion that they're what they are. Stealth palindromes!

Today on BoingBoing there's a link to a "Giant List of Palindromes", and they're not kidding, either: there are hundreds of the suckers. (Also some anagrams.) Most of the palindromes aren't very good, in my opinion ("No cab, no tuna nut on bacon"--ugh), but there are some genuine treasures on the list: "Mr. Owl ate my metal worm" is sublime, as is "So many dynamos".

They don't all have to be stealthy to win my approval, though, not if they're really good. There's a local catering company that has a big, obvious, thoroughly delightful palindrome on its truck(s):

Y Not Tony

Y not, indeed?


Blogger Tony Pius said...

My favorite use of palindromes has to be Weird Al Yankovic's "Bob". It's nothing but a big pile of gnomic palindromes, sung in an excellent approximation of Dylan's nasal drone. It honestly sounds like a lost "Subterranean Homesick Blues"-era Dylan track, since he did a good job of choosing allusive and evocative phrases that are, in the end, impenetrable.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 12:07:00 PM  

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