14 October, 2010
Hannah is a palindrome, while her best friend Enid is an emordnilap: a word that spells a new word when read backwards.
So far, so good. We have words to categorise words that own certain properties. But a website regular called Shirley B (is that you SB?) has sent in her own conundrum.
She challenges any DAbbler to name the construction in which a sequence of sentences/phrases is read through with one meaning, then repeated in reverse with the opposite meaning.
One suggestion is an ambigram, but this a separate species, applying to those clever pieces of typography that enable a word to read the same when the page is flipped.
Can’t say I have a ready-made answer for the query, nor can I single out a succinct example of such a knickknack, not at hand at least. Making our challenge twofold:
(a) what are these marvels called?
And (b) can anyone find or devise a succinct example?"