A nut for a jar of tuna: the importance of palindromes

Two roads diverged (photo: theilr)

Two roads diverged (Photo: theilr)

When was the last time you thought about palindromes? At TEDxBahiaBlanca palidrome master Juan Pablo Sáez gave a talk about the virtues of the word puzzles and the ways in which they are more than just verbal magic. Palindromes, he says, are more than just words and phrases that read the same way backwards and forwards, they are a type of mental exercise, one that encourages creativity and precision:

Below, seven of Pablo Sáez’s reasons why palindromes matter:

  1.  Palindromes aren’t predictable; in fact, they encourage creativity and perseverance. Example: “Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?”
  2. They’re funny! Just try not to laugh at this one: “Amy, must I jujitsu my ma?”
  3. They force you to focus on the little things. When making a palindrome every single letter matters.
  4. They change your perspective. The meaning of a palindrome might vary depending on the way you read it. Example: “Amore, Roma”
  5. You might learn something about yourself! Composing a palindrome can be so complex that it will require talents you didn’t even know you had.
  6. Failure isn’t such a bad thing. Statistically, only one of every 100 attempts of making a palindrome is successful.
  7. They help us adapt. The making of a palindrome is difficult to predict; to make one work, you have to be flexible.

Below, Juan Pablo Sáez’s whole talk on palindromes (in Spanish with English subtitles):

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