I haven’t been able to find on the Net what the longest and shortest palindrome is.
If we’re limiting ourselves to English, then my vote for shortest is “I.” This one-letter palindrome is of course only slighter shorter than “A.”
As for the longest, I believe the current record is the famous book Satire: Veritas, which is largely gibberish but at 58,000 words is one impressive palindrome.
I disagree. Neither “I” nor “A” is shorter than the other.
However, “I” is much narrower than “A”, and “i” is a bit taller than “a”.
Well now your just being silly.
The longest palindrome I know that makes some sort of sense is:
Try slipping this into a speech sometime.
Pa’s a sap.
ETA: On? No.
A man, a plan, a caret, a ban, a myriad, a sum, a lac, a liar, a hoop, a pint, a catalpa, a gas, an oil, a bird, a yell, a vat, a caw, a pax, a wag, a tax, a nay, a ram, a cap, a yam, a gay, a tsar, a wall, a car, a luger, a ward, a bin, a woman, a vassal, a wolf, a tuna, a nit, a pall, a fret, a watt, a bay, a daub, a tan, a cab, a datum, a gall, a hat, a fag, a zap, a say, a jaw, a lay, a wet, a gallop, a tug, a trot, a trap, a tram, a torr, a caper, a top, a tonk, a toll, a ball, a fair, a sax, a minim, a tenor, a bass, a passer, a capital, a rut, an amen, a ted, a cabal, a tang, a sun, an ass, a maw, a sag, a jam, a dam, a sub, a salt, an axon, a sail, an ad, a wadi, a radian, a room, a rood, a rip, a tad, a pariah, a revel, a reel, a reed, a pool, a plug, a pin, a peek, a parabola, a dog, a pat, a cud, a nu, a fan, a pal, a rum, a nod, an eta, a lag, an eel, a batik, a mug, a mot, a nap, a maxim, a mood, a leek, a grub, a gob, a gel, a drab, a citadel, a total, a cedar, a tap, a gag, a rat, a manor, a bar, a gal, a cola, a pap, a yaw, a tab, a raj, a gab, a nag, a pagan, a bag, a jar, a bat, a way, a papa, a local, a gar, a baron, a mat, a rag, a gap, a tar, a decal, a tot, a led, a tic, a bard, a leg, a bog, a burg, a keel, a doom, a mix, a map, an atom, a gum, a kit, a baleen, a gala, a ten, a don, a mural, a pan, a faun, a ducat, a pagoda, a lob, a rap, a keep, a nip, a gulp, a loop, a deer, a leer, a lever, a hair, a pad, a tapir, a door, a moor, an aid, a raid, a wad, an alias, an ox, an atlas, a bus, a madam, a jag, a saw, a mass, an anus, a gnat, a lab, a cadet, an em, a natural, a tip, a caress, a pass, a baronet, a minimax, a sari, a fall, a ballot, a knot, a pot, a rep, a carrot, a mart, a part, a tort, a gut, a poll, a gateway, a law, a jay, a sap, a zag, a fat, a hall, a gamut, a dab, a can, a tabu, a day, a batt, a waterfall, a patina, a nut, a flow, a lass, a van, a mow, a nib, a draw, a regular, a call, a war, a stay, a gam, a yap, a cam, a ray, an ax, a tag, a wax, a paw, a cat, a valley, a drib, a lion, a saga, a plat, a catnip, a pooh, a rail, a calamus, a dairyman, a bater, a canal – Panama!
Demitri Martin made a 224 word palindromic poem:
Note that, depending on what we count, it may not be the longest. Sentences can be palindrome around the word unit as well (that is to say, the words are the same backwards and forwards, but not the letters).
Edit: does a “nothing” count as a palindrome or is it cheating? If it counts then the shortest is clearly what exists between the following quotation marks: “”.
I have this mental picture of the “man” loading all these things, people, animals, and abstract concepts into a very large rowboat, which gets lower and lower in the water. Finally the man himself climbs aboard the heap of cargo and passengers and pushes off and through the canal.
I believe that actually happened; the palindrome was actually an inspired newspaper headline.
Okay, not really, but cool, right?
I’ve worked “rats live on no evil star,” “flee to me, remote elf,” “unremarkable was I ere I saw Elba, Kramer, nu?” and “Aha, May? A Yamaha” into conversations, but they were very specific conversations.
I saw a really long one in Playboy in the 80s that began “Doc, I’m fit.”
Does a single-letter word really qualify as a palindrome? Kinda like 1 isn’t prime.
If we go outside English the longest one word palindrome is Finnish “saippuakauppias”, soap trader.
Otto: “Did Anna peep?” Anna: “Did Otto?”
Each word in the palindrome is also a palindrome.
Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
It’s not the longest ever, but it’s the longest I’ve seen that makes some sort of sense.
Some good “word unit” palindromes:
My favorite greeting, which confuses most and amuses no one but myself, is a palindrome: “Yo! Banana boy!”