30 May 2008

Odivido

It occurred to me today, when I caught sight of the word “palindrome” at the edge of a website in one of the advertisements, that this word was poorly coined. “Palindrome” has a logical etymology, derived from the Greek word palindromos (“running back,” “again”), but what a missed opportunity for irony! The word for palindrome should itself be a palindrome. Ancient Greek has too many words in the English language already, we should at least surrender this one to the forces of sly humor.

Therefore, I propose the following new term for “A word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward.” (Thank you, American Heritage Dictionary)

ODIVIDO (pl. SODIVIDOS)

Please make an effort to use this word instead of the archaic and humorless “palindrome,” and eventually it will come into common usage and replace the ill-chosen older word.

For some examples of sodividos, trip over to this website: odividolist.com (they still haven’t transitioned to the new name on the site, but give them time).

I particularly like this odivido I found on the site: “A dog! A panic in a pagoda!”