Recently, I came across the following sentence :
Was it a car or a cat I saw?
What is interesting about this sentence is that it’s a palindrome. That is to say, ignoring any spaces or punctuation, it reads the same backwards as it does forwards.
A palindrome can be a sentence, a phrase, a word or even a number. Doing a bit of research, it is easy to find many examples. Some of my favourites are
- Don’t nod
- Top spot
- My gym
Of course, there are many others. Please feel free to list any interesting ones you find in the comments below.
There are many things associated with Britishness; a love of fish and chips, an obsession with the royal family. But perhaps more than anything else, British people have a unique fondness for discussing the weather. Even when no other topic of conversation exists, common ground and comfort with a British person can always be found by talking about the current state of the weather.
Being Britain however, the current state of the weather is often rather wet. This, when combined with British people’s love of talking about it, has led to some vivid expressions for rain. Here are a few of my favourite:
Raining cats and dogs – This is quite a common expression and is used to describe very heavy rain. I previously thought that the expression derived from a desire to portray the raindrops as particularly large (i.e. the size of cats and dogs). It turns out however, that the more likely origin is from a tendency in the past for heavy rain showers to wash cats and dogs into the street.
Raining stair-rods – Stair-rods are thin metal rods used to hold a carpet in place upon each step of a staircase. This expression therefore, is used to describe rain that is so heavy and constant, it takes on the appearance of upturned stair-rods.
Nice weather for the ducks – This expression can, in my opinion, be used to describe any sort of rain. It’s a lovely expression, since it attempts to put a positive spin on what most people would describe as miserable weather (a very British thing to do). Although I’m not sure about its origin, I expect the expression is suggesting that, if anyone is to be happy about the rain, it should be the ducks. After all, they are used to being wet. Rain to a duck is like… water off a duck’s back.
I have searched using Google thousands of times now. Yesterday however, I achieved something I had never achieved before… a Google search yielding just 1 result (see the image below)! This is often termed a Googlewhack. Although a ‘proper’ Google whack consists of two real words (as opposed to my poorly spelt made up ones) and those two words feature in the text of the result in their entirety (as mine didn’t), I still think it was quite an achievement. Feel free to post any Googlewhacks you find in the comments.
As I am sure you will have noticed if you have visited here recently, I have updated the theme of my blog. I really like the new look, I hope you do too. It is not just the appearances that has changed, I have added a few new social features. If you look at the top of the page, you should see two new exciting buttons. One is a link to my Facebook profile, the other is my RSS feed. Also, after each post, there is the option to share the content in question on Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.
I have not been posting on here very often recently. I am now less busy than I was however, so I hope to start posting more frequently from now on… perhaps around three times a week. A big thanks to everyone who has continued to read and comment on this blog throughout the drought.
Finally, I received a couple of interesting comments on my last post. Here is a little something for superjess: