Palindrome Sentences and AI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

What do palindrome sentences and AI writers have in common? Nothing much, in my opinion. Palindrome sentences read the same backwards and forwards (Mr. Owl ate my metal worm). When AI writers are given a prompt, their algorithms generate a response.

However, AI writers were “trained” on millions of sources from the internet. So if I enter a query such as “Who First Used the Word Palindrome?” an AI writer will search through the data and generate a response.

If I–a lowly human–enter the same query in a search engine, I should get similar results. But what if my sources have contradictory information? What do I do?  And does an AI writer do the same?

Let’s find out.

Who First Used the Word Palindrome in English?

According to several sources, the word was first used in a book by Henry Peacham in 1638. 

“It was first introduced by the writer Henry Peacham in the book, The Trish of Our Times, published in 1638.”

Poem Anaylisis: Palindrome

“The word palindrome was introduced by English poet and writer Henry Peacham in 1638.”


“a word or line that reads the same backward and forward,” 1620s, from Greek palindromos”


However, some sources attribute the first use of palindrome to Ben Jonson.

“In English, Ben Jonson was the first writer to introduce this term in the middle of the 17th century.”

Literary Devices

“The word palindrome first appeared in English in the 1620s, when poet and playwright Ben Johnson coined the phrase.”


And here’s an entirely different date:

“Poet John Taylor penned the first English-language palindrome—“Lewd did I live & evil did I dwel”—in 1614.”


So, different sources give different date. So I need to do additional research.

Who First Used the Word Palindrome in English?

Having found these differences, I asked an AI writer for the answer.  My prompt was the same: “Who first used the word palindrome?”

“The term “palindrome” comes from the Greek words “palin” (meaning “again”) and “dromos” (meaning “way” or “direction”). However, the exact individual who first used the term “palindrome” in its current sense to describe a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward isn’t clearly documented. We do know that the concept of palindromic structures predates the use of the term. For example, palindromes were used in ancient Sanskrit poetry, and the ancient Greeks used them as well. The Romans enjoyed word games, and Latin palindromes date back to at least the first century AD. The famous Latin palindrome “Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas” (known as the Sator Square) was found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.”

AI Writing Assistant

So the AI writer first ignored the prompt and then said the person who used it wasn’t clearly documented. But the sources I found gave two names and two dates. You would think an AI writer that has access to much of the internet would have found the discrepancy.

Maybe the AI writer was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like doing the research. But what is more likely is that the AI writer doesn’t understand what it is writing. So it pulled some general facts about palindromes from the internet to generate a response.

What an AI writer said about palindrome sentences and AI

Generative AI uses the information scraped from the internet and judges what to use to create an appropriate response. But AI is not capable of making judgments like we are. Most commercial generative AI writers have been trained to be overconfident. For example, the following is what one AI writer generated when asked how palindrome sentences and AI are similar.

“Palindrome sentences and AI both involve the manipulation and recognition of patterns. Palindrome sentences are words, phrases, or sentences that read the same backward as they do forward, while AI involves the use of algorithms and machine learning to recognize and predict patterns in data. Both concepts require a certain level of computational understanding and analysis to effectively execute and understand.”

Confused AI Writer

Someone please tell the ancient Greeks they needed computational understanding to improve their palindromes.

So Who First Used the Word Palindromes

An article in the University of Washington’s newspaper, The Daily, supports the claim that Jonson used the word in his book, Underwoods, Consisting of Divers Poems.

“Had I … weav’d fittie [fifty] tomes of logogriphes, or curious palindromes …”

However, the book was published posthumously in 1640.  So there is some truth to the claim that the first published use of the word was in 1638 by Henry Peacham. Maybe this is too much thinking for the AI writer.

Check out the article Palindrome Sentences and Other Palindromes if you want a few examples of palindrome usage in math and biology.

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