What is Your Favorite Palindrome? Part I

Mine is (of course) the common form of my first name:  Bob.  (Sometimes when authors autograph books for me, I tell them “Try not to get it backwards.”)

The most elaborate palindrome I’ve ever seen is “Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog!” This was by a clever writer  named Jon Agee, who’s written several books of palindromes, one by that name.

According to The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson (William Morrow & Company, 1990), the word “palindrome” was first used in English by Ben Jonson in 1629.  Most are either very simple, like “race car”, or border (at the least) on nonsensical, as “Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.”  Sometimes spelling manipulation is required, like “Lewd I did live, & evil did I dwel.” (Bryson, p. 228)

What is the most famous, and possibly the best,  palindrome of all time? Bryson thinks it’s “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”  It tells a complete story in seven words!


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