More Palindromes

“Wolf flow” (sounds scary, though I don’t know what it is)

“Draw a ward” (maybe a magical instruction?)

Both of these sound like they need some more words in them to be really good.   So maybe they’re just seeds of some longer palindromes.

Further thought: palindromes are pretty cool units of language.  Repeating a palindromic phrase any number of times creates another palindrome — so “wolf flow wolf flow” is a palindrome, as is “wolf flow wolf flow wolf flow” and so on.  (I wonder if there’s any palindrome that still makes some sense after an arbitrary number of repetitions….)  Also, if one considers two palindromes ‘A’ and ‘B’, combining them yields a new palindrome as long as A and B are in palindromic order — ABA will be a palindrome, as will will BAAB or ABAAABA.  Somewhat mathematical bits of English, palindromes are (which maybe explains why nerdy folks like them so much).


2 Responses to “More Palindromes”

  1. Chris Says:

    And similarly, “reward: a drawer”. Although that sounds like a pretty crappy reward to me.

    I think there’s a tie-in with some fundamental computer science with context-free grammars (, but it’s been a LONG time since I studied them (and only superficially then)

  2. wmdot Says:

    i definitely like the math/logic aspects of palindromes. It is also an idea that scales well. For example, AT-AT is not a basic palindrome, but it is if you consider AT a single ‘atom’. So, then, you could have ‘tokenized’ palindromes where the tokens are defined at whatever level you wanted (words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, …). Would that make everything a (trivial) palindrome at the level of itself?

    You could also define a palindromic operator as P(singleton, list) = list + singleton + reverse(list). So ABAABA would become P(null, ABA) = P(null, P(B, A)). You could also put the singleton as the last element in the list, which would then be P'(P'(A, B), null), which looks better to me. If your palindromes were long enough, it would serve as a sort of compression algorithm.

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