Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


“I’m a master palindromist, and I can teach you how to neutralize the letter h.”
September 2, 2011 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I gave myself the title "master palindromist," but I’m the one inventing the terminology, and making the rules, so I might as well be giving out titles as well.

The 200-hour, 400-word, 1300-character eco-palindrome.

A few Barry Duncan Sarah Palin-dromes.

Related.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 (64 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Master Palindromist" is a palindrome of "I get the words 'palindrome' and 'anagram' confused a lot."
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Compared to this guy, palindromes have had virtually no influence on my life, so I take back what I said before. I'm a poser.
posted by etc. at 10:02 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's impressive to get them so long, but they all usually end up looking like an explosion of crap with weird abbreviations, shortened words, gibberish..
posted by ReeMonster at 10:04 AM on September 2, 2011


I love how efficient palindromes are. I only have to read the first half.
posted by Theta States at 10:11 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


tacocat is all the palindrome I need.
posted by cmoj at 10:15 AM on September 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's impressive to get them so long, but they all usually end up looking like an explosion of crap...

TWSS
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on September 2, 2011


Is where I get to tell everyone that anal sex at noon taxes Lana?
posted by spectrevsrector at 10:23 AM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


The only palindrome I need is:

T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I'd assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet.
posted by kenko at 10:25 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Gab. Keel. So ten, if smart, lug a bare hot pans"

okaaaaayyy...
posted by Chuffy at 10:28 AM on September 2, 2011


Sure would be nice if that piece included more than one palindrome by the guy, or at least indicated where they can be seen.
posted by kenko at 10:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Any palindrome with a glossary at the end to explain it is crap.
posted by msalt at 10:33 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Easy to critique, I know, so I'll share one of mine. This was recently published in Collective Fallout, a journal of queer speculative fiction:

He tied. I (snide, bad): "Ah, butyl. No fist!" Nape, tan -- it's boffo, erotic! I tore off obstinate pants! If only tub had a bed inside it, eh?
posted by msalt at 10:39 AM on September 2, 2011


Someday mother will die and I'll get the money.
posted by bicyclefish at 10:48 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


My favorite: A man, a plan, a canal - Panama!
posted by insulglass at 10:48 AM on September 2, 2011


Such a long story, so few palindromes.
posted by Clustercuss at 10:51 AM on September 2, 2011


I can't think palindromes with thinking about Weird Al's Bob (but see Subterranean Homesick Blues first).
posted by Xoc at 10:52 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


insulglass: "My favorite: A man, a plan, a canal - Panama!"

Better:
"A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros' rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal - Panama!"
(And there's one that's even longer.)
posted by Plutor at 10:52 AM on September 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Are we not drawn onward to new era?
posted by hypersloth at 10:54 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is it wrong that I want to punch him in the face?
posted by Naberius at 10:58 AM on September 2, 2011


Those of one hundred or more characters are labeled simply “long.” Palindromes of one hundred or more words he calls “epic.”

Um, since "Those" refers to palindromes, if they are between 100 and 1000 characters, they are both "long" and "epic?"

Also, how many of you are frantically trying to create a palindrome using "metafilter" right now?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:06 AM on September 2, 2011


Also, how many of you are frantically trying to create a palindrome using "metafilter" right now?

Can't be done. I thought about it for a good thirty seconds before giving up.
posted by lydhre at 11:11 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


ret lif at `em!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:15 AM on September 2, 2011


God, aye, he pored o'er a rare ode rope. Hey, a dog!
posted by Jpfed at 11:15 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I've never heard of this guy.
posted by Palindromedary at 11:16 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of "Bolton" would be "Notlob"!! It don't work!!
posted by Mchelly at 11:17 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite part of the article is not even a palindrome:
I’m an unemployed
bookstore clerk and I’m fifty
-three years old.


It's almost a haiku!
posted by Renoroc at 11:20 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was ultra impressed by this 2002 word story that some hypertext/literary folks came up with:
2002: A Palindrome Story
by Nick Montfort and William Gillespie

2002 is a collaboratively-authored narrative palindrome, exactly 2002 words in length. 2002 was first published in a limited edition of 202 inscribed copies on New Years Day, 2002. On February 20th, 2002 (20-02-2002) 2002 was published on the Web.
Apparently it was computer-aided. Here's the hinge of the story (Mr. Duncan would be pleased to see that it's not doubled):
Eligible Babs: flesh self's eros revolts, rubs. Babs, looted
under Bob, seXes Bob. Red,
nude tools. Babs: "Burst, lover! Sores. Flesh self's Babel big. I le...
posted by jng at 11:22 AM on September 2, 2011


I would be more impressed with one that was one-tenth as long but was coherent.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:26 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I, madam, I made radio... So I dared! Am I mad? Am I?!
posted by Vibrissa at 11:29 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Came in expecting every one of his quotes to be a palindrome.

Left disappointed.
posted by noyb42 at 11:31 AM on September 2, 2011


What was the word for a lazily composed palindrome again?

Oh, right, it's tithgirho.
posted by tykky at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, how many of you are frantically trying to create a palindrome using "metafilter" right now?
Do Gretl, I fate Metafilter god?

Using the verb form of fate, an implied conjunction between the obscure name Gretl and the first person pronoun I, and other such excuses for shoddy palindrome construction.
posted by noyb42 at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Not so lucky in love, he often teases his mother sarcastically by saying, 'Mom, I don’t have a girlfriend. And I’m a master palindromist.'"

I couldn't find a way to quote that in proper quotes-on-metafilter-are-in-italics style since the quote, itself, contained both a quote and italics.
posted by lizjohn at 11:42 AM on September 2, 2011


Somewhat weirdly, this is the first FFP with the tag: liveswithhismom.

In my youth, I remember incessantly tapping out words and/or sentences to see if they had an odd or even amount of syllables. Though not related directly to palindromes, I can relate to the dude's gear-spinning anxiety. Glad I don't do that anymore, but I've sublimated the urge by tackling the NYT crossword every day (yes even Saturdays, natch).

Here's a decent palindromic NYT crossword (warning: solutions!) from earlier this year, parsed by Rex Parker...I remember enjoying this small-dose palindrome exercise, but not so much Mr. nacnuD's repertoire.

As I was reading the Believer article, I kept thinking each paragraph was becoming a palindrome, and that suddenly I would be stuck in the middle of one. Turns out, the palindromes are unreadable and eyes-glazed-overish, unless perhaps you are on a solid dose of XANAX.
posted by obscurator at 11:44 AM on September 2, 2011


FPP, not FFP
posted by obscurator at 11:44 AM on September 2, 2011


Baby Gramps chimes in. Sound is not that good, but worth perseverance.
posted by Danf at 11:51 AM on September 2, 2011


Demetri Martin creates a 224-word palindrome poem.
posted by kmz at 11:59 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong that I want to punch him in the face?

Yes. It's like wanting to punch a platypus in its crazy beak for being a mammal that lays eggs. Let him be his freaky self, it makes the world a better place.

I may not understand what he's trying to say, but I would take a punch to the face to let him keep trying to say it.

First they came for the palindrome makers, and I did not speak up, because I mostly speak in weird references and everyone finds that confusing ...

posted by Honorable John at 12:02 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


no offence to the guy above but:

George Perec?

Sorry. Not a palindrome.
posted by davidgentle at 12:18 PM on September 2, 2011


Demetri Martin creates a 224-word palindrome poem.

Martin has a much better 500-word palindrome about a creepy guy at a strip joint -- it's one of the highlights of his new book "This Is A Book."
posted by msalt at 12:57 PM on September 2, 2011


Very first palindrome: Madam, I'm Adam.
posted by Twang at 1:10 PM on September 2, 2011


mumble mumble something about the panama canal
posted by not_on_display at 1:13 PM on September 2, 2011


I love words. I'm coming to the impression that there are no good palindromes.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:22 PM on September 2, 2011


I've heard the ladies call him "Dr Awkward".
posted by w0mbat at 1:24 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


palindrome generator!
posted by not_on_display at 1:27 PM on September 2, 2011


Sit on a potato pan, Otis.
posted by Kangaroo at 1:45 PM on September 2, 2011


Rats live on no evil star.

- Anne Sexton
posted by newdaddy at 1:54 PM on September 2, 2011


I love words. I'm coming to the impression that there are no good palindromes.

What do you define as good? How about this one, which mathematician Peter Hilton wrote while hanging with Alan Turing and breaking Nazi codes during WW2:

Doc, note -- I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
posted by msalt at 1:57 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess Metafilter's new mascot is Gretl.

Either that, or Matt has to name a kid that.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:51 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sis, ask Costner to not rent socks "as is."
posted by namasaya at 4:41 PM on September 2, 2011


One rite rots. I do not sleep. Eye sees. Eye peels. To nod is to retire - No!
posted by kyrademon at 5:13 PM on September 2, 2011


Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas.
posted by hypersloth at 5:47 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Go hang a salami. I'm a lasagna hog.
posted by dywypi at 5:54 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


mefi's own oozy rat in a sanitary zoo nwo s'ifem
posted by madcaptenor at 7:19 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slap a ham on Omaha, pals!
posted by Danf at 7:32 AM on September 3, 2011


I've heard the ladies call him "Dr Awkward".

Dr Awkward is a member of ifIhadahifi along with several other palindromic personages.
posted by Jpfed at 7:55 AM on September 3, 2011


Baby Gramps chimes in. Sound is not that good, but worth perseverance.

Baby Gramps! Wow. First saw that guy when I worked for a band which played the Oregon Country Fair one year. He's a fixture there. Fantastic. Reminds me a little of a Captain Beefheart, if he had been more into bluegrass.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:25 PM on September 3, 2011


Racecar, race car, race. Car race. Car. Racecar.
posted by seanyboy at 12:20 AM on September 4, 2011


You know, if this guy were serious about reversibility, and not just a self-promoting loner, he'd surely have encountered not just Demetri Martin but also the work of the Oulipo. I will now quote the entry on the palindrome from The Oulipo Compendium (I will not quote the entries for "bilingual palindrome" ("untrodden russet / t'es sûr, Ned dort nu?") or "phonetic palindrome" ("rhat is, a recorded text that when played backwards makes audible sense")):

Palindrome. A text of indeterminate length whose letters can be read both fowards and backwards: ROMA — AMOR is a classical, minimal example. Palindromes long familiar in English are "Madam, I'm Adam" and "Able was I ere I saw Elba". "A man, a plan, a canal—Panama" (attributed to Leigh Mercer) is making its way towards general currency. The poet Alistair Reid created a longer example with remembering:
T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I'd assign it a name: "Gnat-dirt upset on drab pot toilet."
Georges Perec's palindrome of 1960 (published in Lipo, CP3) contains more than 5,000 characters and many brilliant turns. It opens with the injunction: Trace l'inégal palindrome, and soon describes itself: Le brut repentir, cet écrit né Perec, which astonishingly becomes on its return: ce repentir, cet écrit ne per[turbe]". It seems unlikely that any word of its kind will soon match Perec's combination of length, ingenuity, and literary elegance.

The palindromic princople can also be applied to larger units:

Syllables: because the sound of our unaccented syllabls is so variable, these are less rewarding in ZEnglish than in French. Ingiving, inglobing, ingoing are examples of words that are "natural" syllabic palindromes.

Words: "Ambitious persons, sane otherwise, render otherwise sane persons ambitious."

Sentences: The problem here is greater than it seems. Unless teh sentences are no more than statements of simultaneous fact (which deprives the exercise of all interest), their internal progression will create a sitation that can rarely be reversed. In Lipo, Georges Perec nevertheless supplied two examples:

1 (easy).
The general simply said, "It's going to be a hard day." The men attached bayonets to their rifle barrels. Two hundred yards separated them from the long grey line of the Confederates.
Two hundred yards separated them from the long grey line of the Confederats. The men attached bayonets to their rifle barrels. The general simply said, "It's going to be a hard day."
2 (difficult).
Everyone in Ockham asserts that Bobby Watson's manor-house is haunted.
Bobby Watson lived on the estate for three years, then disappeared mysteriously.
The manor-house of Ockham was sold to a cousin of Bobby Watson whose name was also Bobby Watson.
The manor-house of Ockham was sold to a cousin of Bobby Watson whose name was also Bobby Watson.
Bobby Watson lived on the estate for three years, then disappeared mysteriously.
Everyone in Ockham asserts that Bobby Watson's manor-house is haunted.
posted by kenko at 8:35 PM on September 5, 2011


To take the palindromes one level up, to the "utterance" level, you want Hofstadter's crab canon.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:45 PM on September 5, 2011


The point of the article seems to be, not revealing an actual good palindromist or discussing palindromes, but rather pushing the tired trope that geeks (in this case, a writer of palindromes) are unemployed, undatable losers. I'm surprised it didn't describe him as living in his parents' basement and typing online in his pajamas.
posted by msalt at 9:09 PM on September 5, 2011


Who can forget Professor Ross Eforp and his great invention.
posted by drezdn at 10:01 AM on September 14, 2011


Funny you should mention that. I interviewed Professor Osseforp about a football game, a while back.
posted by msalt at 10:59 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nick Montfort, a digital media prof at MIT, reviews the Believer article.
posted by msalt at 10:39 AM on September 23, 2011


« Older Everything is Terrible presents Torah Tots!...  |  Husbands, tell us how you real... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments