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An automatic palindrome generator.

In 1984 Dan Hoey, a US naval mathematician, wrote a computer program which he used to create a 540-word expansion of Leigh Mercer's "Panama" palindrome (PD). It began "A man, a plan, a caret, a ban, a myriad, a sum, a lac ..." and ended "... a calamus, a dairyman, abater, a canal--Panama." (For the full PD, plus additional information, see http://www2.vo.lu/homepages/phahn/anagrams/panama/htm.)

Hoey's expansion uses articles and nouns only. Is there a way to generate automatic PDs that include verbs? On June 12 1998 his Muse inspired John E. Connett to write the following:
 Ed, I hid a pat,
 I bit a rag,
 I jig a bat,
 I hit a cab,
 I bib a cat,
 I hit a bag,
 I jig a rat,
 I bit a pad--
 I hide!


The automatic palindrome generator (APG) that appears here will produce any number of PDs of this type, and to any length. The results are not especially complex or interesting, but one must begin somewhere ...

Take a sheet of paper (preferably lined) and either write the numbers 1 to 17 down the margin, or count off that number of lines and mark the starting and stopping points. Seventeen steps will produce a PD exactly the length of Connett's. (Nine steps are feasible, but will not allow the entire vocabulary to be exploited, owing to the restrictions created by the frames which begin/end the PD. To increase the length beyond 17, always go in increments of four: 21, 25, etc.)

To construct a PD, turn to Table 1. You begin naturally enough, at 0, which is the first of 249 key numbers. Opposite 0 we find the digits 1,2. These control the frame to be used: either "Ed, I / hide!" or "Ed, I / ride!" Select one of the digits at random, say 2. This becomes your first palindromic control number; write it down at position 1 on your sheet of paper. The same figure gives you your next key number; move down to 2, where you see the digits 160-163, meaning 160, 161, 162, 163. As before, choose one of these at random, say 162, and write it down below the first control number (which was 2). Move a good way down Table 1 to key number 162, where once more you make a random selection from the numbers beside it, say 110, and so proceed until you have completed a list of 17 control numbers.

Each of these numbers is keyed to a word pair in Table 2. To generate the PD, simply look up each corresponding word pair and write them down, one below the other. 2, then, gives you "Ed, I / ride!", 162, "rim / I", and so on down for a total of 17 steps. When you are done, the beginning of what you have written should have this form (assuming that you wrote down the numbers I to 17 at the start):
1 2 Ed, I / hide!
2 162 rim /I
3 110 a /dam,


The first half of your PD will then be the left-hand word in each pair read from top to bottom; the second half, the right-hand word read from bottom to top. (Thus the unfinished example above reads "Ed, I rim a dam, I hide!"). You may then, if you wish, rewrite the PD in the same layout as that used by Connett.

Using this coding scheme, John Connett's palindrome is 1-56-34-167-171-8-193-182-44-82-59-27-173-57-187-36-3. Many thousands (millions?) of other palindromes can be created as well.

Ella Minnow Pea

Over sixty years ago the novel Gadsby demonstrated that it is entirely possible to write a book with a single letter suppressed. Ella Minnow Pea shows how communication becomes increasingly hamstrung as letters are successively removed from the alphabet: Z,Q,J,D,K, ... until only L,M,N,O and P (get it?) remain.

This linguistic disaster occurs when the leaders of Nollop, a mythical island nation off the South Carolina coast, interpret the fall of lettered tiles from a centotaph honoring the creator of The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog as a message from beyond the grave to suppress those letters in all discourse. The prohibition is mercilessly enforced, but the ruling council agrees to rescind it if a grammatical pangram of 32 words or less can be found. The heroine, Ella, reading notes left by her father who has been banished from the island by the language police, stumbles across his departure instructions: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. Success!

The first novel by playwright Mark Dunn, this book is available from MacAdam/Cage Publishing (ISBN 0-9673701-6-7) for $22. A most welcome addition to the tiny corpus of logological fiction!
TABLE 1

0 1, 2
1 56-58
2 160-63
3 5-9
4 160-63
5 14-19
6 30-35
7 128-34
8 186-94
9 234-41
10 5-9
11 20-24
12 56-58
13 87-90
14 36-42
15 52-54
16 76-81
17 95-99
18 115-19
19 198-202
20 30-35
21 59-69
22 109-14
23 147-58
24 181
25 43-46
26 100-03
27 171-77
28 221-25
29 227-30
30 36-42
31 52-54
32 70-75
33 115-19
34 164-70
35 217-20
36 3, 4
37 10-13
38 91, 92
39 100-03
40 120-27
41 171-77
42 221-25
43 20-24
44 82
45 160-63
46 206, 207
47 128-34
48 186-94
49 212-16
50 234-41
51 248
52 3, 4
53 10-13
54 91, 92
55 234-41
56 30-35
57 186-94
58 243-47
59 25-29
60 70-75
61 76-81
62 83-86
63 95-99
64 115-19
65 135-140
66 145, 146
67 182-85
68 198-202
69 217-20
70 10-13
71 43-46
72 100-03
73 171-77
74 203-05
75 221-25
76 3, 4
77 43-46
78 120-27
79 159
80 171-77
81 221-25
82 59-69
83 43-46
84 91, 92
85 171-77
86 221-25
87 30-35
88 186-94
89 234-41
90 243-47
91 20-24
92 160-63
93 147-58
94 186-94
95 3, 4
96 43-46
97 91, 92
98 120-27
99 233
100 5-9
101 47-51
102 141-44
103 206, 207
104 212-16
105 234-41
106 243-47
107 147-58
108 212-16
109 36-42
110 52-54
111 83-86
112 95-99
113 182-85
114 231, 232
115 3, 4
116 10-13
117 43-46
118 120-27
119 227-30
120 20-24
121 93, 94
122 107, 108
123 160-63
124 178, 179
125 180
126 211
127 226
128 25-29
129 36-42
130 70-75
131 135-40
132 164-70
133 198-202
134 209, 210
135 43-46
136 100-03
137 120-27
138 171-77
139 221-25
140 227-30
141 128-34
142 147-58
143 186-94
144 243-47
145 43-46
146 120-27
147 36-42
148 76-81
149 95-99
150 115-19
151 135-40
152 145, 146
153 164-70
154 182-85
155 195-97
156 198-202
157 231, 232
158 242
159 20-24
160 14-19
161 59-69
162 109-14
163 147-58
164 10-13
165 100-03
166 120-27
167 171-77
168 203-05
169 221-25
170 227-30
171 5-9
172 47-51
173 56-58
174 87-90
175 93, 94
176 141-44
177 178, 179
178 147-58
179 186-94
180 147-58
181 76-81
182 43-46
183 91, 92
184 120-27
185 171-77
186 25-29
187 36-42
188 70-75
189 76-81
190 83-86
191 135-40
192 164-70
193 182-85
194 209, 210
195 120-27
196 203-05
197 227-30
198 3, 4
199 43-46
200 100-03
201 120-27
202 203-05
203 47-51
204 104-06
205 107, 108
206 59-69
207 128-34
208 195-97
209 100-03
210 171-77
211 147-58
212 70-75
213 164-70
214 195-97
215 198-202
216 217-20
217 10-13
218 43-46
219 203-05
220 221-25
221 5-9
222 47-51
223 55
224 87-90
225 104-06
226 147-58
227 56-58
228 87-90
229 104-06
230 141-44
231 91, 92
232 120-27
233 47-51
234 25-29
235 36-42
236 70-75
237 76-81
238 83-86
239 135-40
240 164-70
241 217-20
242 120-27
243 25-29
244 115-19
245 135-40
246 164-70
247 195-97
248 95-99
TABLE 2

1 Ed, I / hide!
2 Ed, I / ride!
3 I / bib
4 I / rib
5 bib / I
6 bid / I
7 bin / I
8 bit / I
9 bill / I
10 I / bid
11 I / did
12 I / hid
13 I / kid
14 a / cab,
15 a / dab,
16 a / gab,
17 a / jab,
18 a / lab,
19 a / tab,
20 did / I
21 dig / I
22 dim / I
23 dip / I
24 dis / I
25 bag, / a
26 ban, / a
27 bat, / a
28 ball, / a
29 bass, / a
30 a / cad,
31 a / dad,
32 a / fad,
33 a / lad
34 a / pad,
35 a / wad,
36 cab, / a
37 cad, / a
38 cam, / a
39 can, / a
40 cap, / a
41 cat, / a
42 call, / a
43 I / dig
44 I / jig
45 I / rig
46 I / wig
47 fin / I
48 fit / I
49 fix / I
50 fill / I
51 fizz / I
52 dab, / a
53 dad, / a
54 dam, / a
55 gill / I
56 hid / I
57 hit / I
58 hiss / I
59 a / bag,
60 a / fag,
61 a / gag,
62 a / hag,
63 a / Jag,
64 a / lag,
65 a / mag,
66 a / nag,
67 a / rag,
68 a / tag,
69 a / wag,
70 fad, / a
71 fag, / a
72 fan, / a
73 fat, / a
74 fax, / a
75 fall, / a
76 gab, / a
77 gag, / a
78 gap, / a
79 gas, / a
80 gat, / a
81 gall, / a
82 jig / I
83 hag, / a
84 ham, / a
85 hat, / a
86 hall, / a
87 kid / I
88 kit / I
89 kill / I
90 kiss / I
91 I / dim
92 I / rim
93 lip / I
94 lit / I
95 jab, / a
96 Jag, / a
97 jam, / a
98 Jap, / a
99 jazz, / a
100 I / bin
101 I / fin
102 I / pin
103 I / win
104 mix / I
105 mill / I
106 miss / I
107 nip / I
108 nix / I
109 a / cam,
110 a / dam,
111 a / ham,
112 a / jam,
113 a / ram,
114 a / yam,
115 lab, / a
116 lad, / a
117 lag, / a
118 lap, / a
119 lass, / a
120 I / dip
121 I / lip
122 I / nip
123 I / rip
124 I / sip
125 I / tip
126 I / yip
127 I / zip
128 a / ban,
129 a / can,
130 a / fan,
131 a / man,
132 a / pan,
133 a / tan,
134 a / van,
135 mag, / a
136 man, / a
137 map, / a
138 mat, / a
139 mall, / a
140 mass, / a
141 pin / I
142 pip / I
143 pit / I
144 piss/ I
145 nag, / a
146 nap, / a
147 a / cap,
148 a / gap,
149 a / Jap,
150 a / lap,
151 a / map,
152 a / nap,
153 a / pap,
154 a / rap,
155 a / sap,
156 a / tap,
157 a / yap,
158 a / zap,
159 I / dis
160 rib / I
161 rig / I
162 rim / I
163 rip / I
164 pad, / a
165 pan, / a
166 pap, / a
167 pat, / a
168 pax, / a
169 pall, / a
170 pass, / a
171 I / bit
172 I / fit
173 I / hit
174 I / kit
175 I / lit
176 I / pit
177 I / sit
178 sip / I
179 sit / I
180 tip / I
181 a / gas,
182 rag, / a
183 ram, / a
184 rap, / a
185 rat, / a
186 a / bat,
187 a / cat,
188 a / fat,
189 a / gat,
190 a / hat,
191 a / mat,
192 a / pat,
193 a / rat,
194 a / vat,
195 sap, / a
196 sax, / a
197 sass, / a
198 tab, / a
199 tag, / a
200 tan, / a
201 tap, / a
202 tax, / a
203 I / fix
204 I / mix
205 I / nix
206 wig / I
207 win / I
208 a / saw,
209 van, / a
210 vat, / a
211 yip / I
212 a / fax,
213 a / pax,
214 a / sax,
215 a / tax,
216 a / wax,
217 wad, / a
218 wag, / a
219 wax, / a
220 wall, / a
221 I / bill
222 I / fill
223 I / gill
224 I / kill
225 I / mill
226 zip / I
227 I / hiss
228 I / kiss
229 I / miss
230 I / piss
231 yam, / a
232 yap, / a
233 I / fizz
234 a / ball,
235 a / call,
236 a / fall,
237 a / gall,
238 a / hall,
239 a / mall,
240 a / pall,
241 a / wall,
242 zap, / a
243 a / bass,
244 a / lass,
245 a / mass,
246 a / pass,
247 a / sass,
248 a / jazz,
BILL A. O'CONNOR
Terre Haute, Indiana
palocon2000@yahoo.com
COPYRIGHT 2002 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:O'Connor, Bill A.
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:2071
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