Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dam Max: Beyond Anadrome

My apologies to my readers for not posting in so long. I've had a lot to do in preparation for a big concert by the Indiana Wind Symphony, I'm trying to keep my head above financial waters with some freelance editing, and I've been pecking away at an upcoming 26-part series for this blog.

(Hmm. A 26-part series on a blog about words. How might they be organized?)

But when @Wordnik posted its list of the day today, I knew I had to get over here and share it, because it reveals a word I've been looking for my entire life. That word?

Anadrome: A word that, when you reverse the letters, spells another word.

We're all familiar with palindromes -- racecar, Bob, tit. Anadromes, though, spell a different word when read backward: reined/denier, reward/drawer, stop/pots, stressed/desserts. I'll leave it to Wordnik's crowdsourcing to offer a more comprehensive list of anadromes.

Other names have been given for this linguistic phenomenon, too: backwords, volvograms, heteropalindromes, semordnilap, and revers(o)grams, to name a few. Until now, I've always referred to anadromes just as anagrams (which they are) because I didn't know what else they were called. But not anymore.

But now the big challenge begins.

Creating palindromic sentences has been a pastime for quite a while, to the point that most of best ones are well-known: A man, a plan, a canal -- Panama. Dennis and Edna sinned. Sex at noon taxes. Able was I ere I saw elba. (This last is a palindromic sentence made entirely of anadromes.)

The big challenge is this: Create an anadromic sentence that isn't palindromic. Whoever comes up with the longest, bestest one wins -- well, nothing from me, but most likely a permanent place in the annals of logodaedaly.