Friday, July 17, 2009

Palindromic merchants

When I first moved to New York, I was driving down the road and saw the car in front of me with the label: "ADZAM". I thought to myself: "That's odd. ADZAM is MAZDA spelled backwards, and the car in front of me was a Mazda. Perhaps the owner of the car feels the need to display the make of his/her car as you pass by on the opposite lane and view the back of the car in your mirrors (much the same way the word AMBULANCE is spelled in mirror image on the front of an ambulance). Only later did I figure out that Adzam Mazda is the name of a car dealership with an palindromic name, it is spelled the same forwards and backwards. This reminds me of an article on palindromes by Martin Gardner (one of my favorite authors) that I read as a youngster (the article is most recently reprinted here). He mentioned the existence of a bakery in Yreka, CA called Yreka Bakery, which is a palindrome. He also noted that this store is not longer in business, but was replaced by Yrella Gallery, also a palindrome.

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