Fun with Words

The year 2020 has has not been much fun and that has been reflected in my posts.  So, on this lovely Saturday morning (it’s finally cooled off a bit here in South Jordan, UT), I though I’d resurrect an old post from August of 2011.   A fun post.  OK, a fun post if you enjoy words.  I assume it’s obvious by the sheer number of words I generate here that I am a word-guy   . and given the number of readers I have compared to the time I put in here, you’ve got to know I do this for fun.  Now, for a word-guy, what could be more fun than Fun with Words, words strung together in interesting combinations so cool that they have their own name. If you’re on the ball today, you know from my illustration (which is, by the way, a pun) that the first word combination for today is known as an oxymoron, which Wikipedia says is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms.

The one I’ve heard a lot is military intelligence. I think maybe it was born during the antiwar days of the sixties but it’s not strictly true. After all our military brought us the Global Positioning System (GPS) that so many use to get around these days. Oxymoron.com has hundreds of these little word-goodies, so I jumped over there and borrowed a few. Some are things we say all the time, like, It was fairly obvious or, He came to a rolling stop. Some are social commentary, like political promise or peacekeeping force. Some word combinations only seem like oxymorons to members of a particular group … compassionate conservatives and Reagan Democrats come to mind. Personally, I get a chuckle out of jumbo shrimp and rap music. Do you have any favorites?

Now, Palindromes are phrases that read the same forward and backward. I think the best known is the line that Adam used when he hit on Eve in the Garden of Eden … Madam, I’m Adam. Backwards: madA m’I, madaM. Well, you have to leave out the punctuation and use your imagination a bit. For a spiritual touch, I like Do geese see God? or for inspiration, how about, Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era? One of the best is A man, a plan, a canal – Panama. You can find lots more at fun-with-words.com, which also has word unit palindromes (you reverse the order of the words but not the letters) like, Blessed are they that believe that they are blessed. There are even palindrome squares in which every row and column reads as a word in both directions.  In the film, Arrival, the word-scientist, Louise Banks, after discovering from alien visitors that time runs forward and backward, names her daughter, Hannah.   Palindromes even appear appear in art.  The word palindrome, Escher, drawing hands, drew hands drawing Escher,which fittingly describes the Escher painting, Hands, which is in a figurative sense, a palindrome.   And  the paintings of Xylor Jane, made up of thousands of color dots laid out in geometric patterns, include color palindromes … the sequence of colors that are the same from either end.

So, you’ve probably had more fun than you can stand by now, so I’ll close with this (and I’m serious):  Take care of yourself, 2020 can be a dangerous time. And this November, vote as if your life depends on it because in very real sense it does.  I won’t tell you how  I think you should vote (unless you want to go back and read my post, Registering to Vote).  Have a good weekend.

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