A palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same backwards as forwards.

In a series of articles written for The Telegraph newspaper and reproduced in his collection of essays, ‘Paperweight’, Stephen Fry gives some wonderful examples.

These range from the simple to the more complex.

The first words ever spoken were ‘Madam, I’m Adam’.

There is the geographical: ‘Niagara, O roar again’ and what Napoleon is reputed to have said after his defeat at Waterloo (strangely in English): ‘Able was I ere I saw Elba’.

Others of you may appreciate the historical reference of ‘Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus’. Then there is the classic palindrome explaining the construction of the famous transcontinental canal in Central America: ‘A man, a plan, a canal, Panama’ Finally, a sentence to give us all hope for the future: ‘Are we not drawn onward to a new era?’ Unfortunately, this doesn’t strictly work. Can you spot the error?!

 16th July 2014 /    Alice /   Education, Language & Grammar

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