Saturday, August 18, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Palindrome Day, A Demo Rd ni' Lap

by Peggy Robin

It’s 8.18.18, which reads the same forwards and backwards, making it a palindrome, and making today Palindrome Day. Or at least, Limited Palindrome Day. A full Palindrome Day would use the four-digit year. The next four-digit palindrome day will occur more than a year from now, on September 10, 2019 (9.10.2019). [For more on palindrome dates, see:]

Or perhaps revolt against it?

"Revolt, love!" raved Eva. "Revolt, lover!" 
(Eva, like Ida, is one of those characters who frequently declaims in palindromic mode – but not as often as Eve, or Anna, or Bob, or Hannah, or Otto, or Nan, or those perpetually paired sisters, Enid and Nadine.

For Palindrome Day, you can refresh your memory of the most famous palindromes ever composed:

Napoleon’s lament: 
“Able was I ere I saw Elba.”
The one about the canal: 
“A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!”
From the first man to the first woman: 
“Madam, I’m Adam.” (Or the slightly longer version: “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam.”)
There’s my favorite theological/ornithological question: 
“Do Geese See God?”
And my all-time favorite, a greeting, though it has no obvious application: 
“YO! Banana Boy!”

Want more? The palindromist Fred Derf (real name Neil Picciato) has come up with this 460-item list:

If you would like to celebrate this day by gathering with fellow lovers of front-to-back-to-front-again wordplay, there’s a party you can attend, this very afternoon. It’s the Chevy Chase Library’s Palindrome Day Party at 2 PM. And it’s free. All ages welcome. (Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult.) The Chevy Chase Library is at 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. More info:

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local (La Col Sie Fill La) on Saturdays.   

1 comment:

  1. For more on palindromes see generally The New Ambidextrous Universe by Martin Gardiner and Godel, Escher, and Bach by Douglas Hofstadter.