Two phrases are anagrams if they have the same letters, but in a different order.
Here are some good anagrams:
- A Ballet Dancer: Alert, Balanced
- A Decimal Point: I'm a Dot in Place
- Alec Guinness: Genuine Class
- Animosity: Is No Amity
- Bottoms Up: Pubs' Motto
- Contradiction: Accord not in it
- Dormitory: Dirty Room
- Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one
- Listen: Silent
- Semolina: Is No Meal
- Slot Machines: Cash Lost in 'em
- Snooze Alarms: Alas! No More Z's
- The Earthquakes: That Queer Shake
- The Morse Code: Here Come Dots
- The Public Art Galleries: Large Picture Halls, I Bet
There are a lot of anagram sites on the web, such as www.anagramgenius.com.
A palindrome is a word or sentence which is spelled the same backwards and forwards.
Here are some good palindromes:
- A man, a plan, a canal — Panama! (One could reply, "No, it's a banana bastion.")
- A man, a plan, a cat, a canal — Panama!
- A man, a plan, a cat, a ham, a yak, a yam, a hat, a canal — Panama!
- Able was I ere I saw Elba. (Napolean could have said this when he was exiled to the island of Elba, if he spoke English.)
- Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
- Cigar? Toss it in a can. It is so tragic.
- Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
- Dog, as a devil deified, lived as a god.
- Dogma? I am God.
- Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard.
- Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.
- Ma is as selfless as I am.
- Madam, I'm Adam. (Eve replied simply, "Eve.")
- Madam, in Eden, I'm Adam.
- No sir, prefer prison.
- Pa's a sap.
- Niagara, O roar again.
- Senile felines
- Sniff'um muffins.
- Ten animals I slam in a net.
- Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.
- Was it a cat I saw?
- Yreka Bakery (in Yreka, California)
Finnish has the longest palindromic words. Here are several (the longer ones are more contrived).
- saippuakauppias (15 letters), soap dealer
- saippurakaruppias (17 letters), soap salesman
- saippuakivikauppias (19 letters), lye dealer
- saippuakuppinippukauppias (25 letters), soap cup dealer
The longest common English palindromic word is "redivider" (9 letters). The contrived chemical term "detartrated" has 11 letters.
"Kinnikinnick," the name of a plant and also a dried leaf and bark mixture smoked by Cree indians, is not a palindrome, but it is sometimes (mis)spelled as a palindrome in two different ways: "kinnikinnik" (11 letters) and "kinnik-kinnik" (12 letters). Each half of the last palindrome is itself a palindrome.
The shortest English palindromic word, not counting one-letter words, is "aa," which is a Hawaiian word for a kind of lava.
English needs a synonym for "palindrome" that is itself a palindrome. The word should have meaningful roots, like the word "palindrome", which derives from Greek palin, again + Greek dromos, racecourse or running. Here are some candidate palindromic synonyms for palidrome.
- retreverter — From "retreat" (from Old French retrere from
Latin retrahere), to draw back + Latin vertere , to turn.
(From Seth Hoyt.) This is almost perfect. The roots are meaningful. Both
roots are Latin. The only drawback is that "retre-" is not
as familiar as "retro-".
- retrovorter — From "retro-", backwards + "vortex" (variant of "vertex", from Latin vertere, turn), turning column. (From Seth Hoyt.) It begins nicely with "retro-", but "vorter" is a stretch.
- palinilap — From Greek palin, again + English "lap",
a racecourse lap or a fold. It has fairly meaningful roots. It is a natural
modification of the familiar word "palindrome". A brief web
search indicates that this may be the most popular candidate.
- emordrome — From Greek dromos, racecourse or running. But emor has no appropriate meaning. (Greek emor may mean "without a share".)
- rotor or rotator — From Latin rota, wheel.
A rotation of 180 degrees is kind of like a reversal, but not really.
- mynonym — It sounds like it could be synonym for palindrome. From Greek onyma name. But myn has no appropriate meaning. (Greek myn may mean an excuse, pretense, or diversion.)
- reversrever — From Latin re, back + vertere, turn. But this word is too contrived.
- wordrow — From "word" + "row". But it contains no part that means reversal.
If you can think of a better word, please send me a note.
A pangram is a sentence which uses all 26 letters. A minimal pangram uses each letter only once. The following minimal pangram describes the situation in which a wryneck woodpecker from the grasslands of Africa climbed up the side of a male bovid which is grazing on sacred Muslim-owned land:
Source: Michael Jones of Chicago, in the Guinness Book.
Can you correctly punctuate the following, which has 12 "hads" in a row?
Ann, where Bob had had "had," had had "had had." "Had had" had had "had" written next to it as a correction.
(Ann and Bob were taking a grammar exam.)
The following sentence has 21 "ands" in a row:
How many words can be contracted into a single word using apostrophes? Is "I'dn't've" a legal word? It means "I would not have," as in "I'dn't've done that if I were you."