-2
$\begingroup$

My friend told me she was thinking of a word.

It can be seen left to right, right to left and upside down by the English, French and Japanese and still be palindrome (A sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward).

What is this mysterious word?

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thanks to the anonymous DV for such constructive criticism. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Downvoting because of the issues raised in the accepted answer's comments. Lateral thinking != poorly worded puzzles. $\endgroup$ – DylanSp Jun 13 '16 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ I have voted to close my own question. Thank you for all your help. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 23:27
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ -1 as this is a very cheap trick and is not funny or entertaining or insightful. As BmyGuest and DylanSp have said, tagging such a cheap trick [lateral-thinking] or [enigmatic-puzzles] does not save it. $\endgroup$ – Rosie F Jun 16 '16 at 14:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually, palindrome spelled backward is not palindrome - it is semordnilap which is similar to a palindrome, but different. Whereas a palindrome backward spells itself, a semordnilap backward will spell another word. So actually, if you think if it this way, the answer can't be palindrome.... $\endgroup$ – bgmCoder Jul 26 '16 at 4:19
17
$\begingroup$

The word is ............

Palindrome

The word "Palindrome" in whatever language or orientation always means "Palindrome".

OP's note

The main clue that I thought would be picked up is

the 'grammatical error' of still be palindrome, rather than be a palindrome.

It is quite similar to 'what word in the English language is always spelt incorrectly?', but in a disguise.

The rest is pretty much self explanatory,

since no matter how you choose to look at a word, the word will always be the same.

$\endgroup$
  • 23
    $\begingroup$ xkcd.com/169 $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 13 '16 at 9:31
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You cannot, in fact, read "palindrome" in (say) Thai and have it "still be palindrome", because "palindrome" is not a Thai word nor even made out of characters used in the Thai writing system. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 13 '16 at 9:32
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @Inazuma The lateral-thinking tag is not a 'free-for-all'-token to fix up ill-defined questions or puzzles. It is indeed very hard to come up with a trick-question so that it still manages to 'catch you' but at the otherhand does not allow cheap loop holes. That is, why good trick-question-puzzles are extremely rare. I think, the posted question as it is, does not meet needed PuzzlingSE standards (yet). Trick questions rarely work in this format. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 13 '16 at 11:36
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This reminds me of the old joke, "What's black and white and green all over?" "I don't know." "A penguin!" "But a penguin's not green." "I know, I just threw that in to make it harder." $\endgroup$ – LarsH Jun 13 '16 at 16:12
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @LarsH, the version I heard of that one is actually good: "What do you get when you cross a cat, a bag of cement, and a lemon?" "I don't know." "A sourpuss!" "What about the cement?" "I just threw that in to make it hard." $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jun 13 '16 at 18:21
5
$\begingroup$

Well, there are

"O" and "I"

both of which kinda meet the conditions ... but "any language"? Neither of those would make much sense to someone whose only language is, say, Mandarin Chinese.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That was my thinking after I my first guess too.. Also "X" should be on the list too, shouldnt it? $\endgroup$ – Radhato Jun 13 '16 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ My imaginary friend has also said that these are not the words. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ I is the closest guess so far, since it is actually the character for 'one' in Chinese. But X and O are not actual words. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ Other candidates for up/down are d/p if you take 180 rotation not mirroring. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 13 '16 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Inazuma: "O" is an English word: it is an older spelling of "oh" (the exclamation), and also means "a shape like the capital O". $\endgroup$ – paolo Jun 13 '16 at 13:54
3
$\begingroup$

From the edit:

The word is ten letters long.

But the word you're thinking of does not have ten letters in every language! I think we're being cheated here...

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The word is ten letters long (in English). $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 11:25
3
$\begingroup$

"lol" written such that the "o" is the height of the "l"s and the "l"s are written as just lines. This can be mirrored on both Y and X without changing the meaning, and a word can be imported and read from any language. For example, "What does domo mean in Esperanto?" Or the equivalent, "Kion signifas house signifas en la angla ?"

edit: This works unless your "hint" is a requirement.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! This answer would have worked before the hints were posted. Generally, they are taken as rules and are sometimes used to narrow down questions that would otherwise be too broad, having a lot of good answers. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jun 13 '16 at 18:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To be fair, a hint that is hidden should have no effect on the meaning of a puzzle. No problem ^voting this answer. $\endgroup$ – humn Jun 13 '16 at 18:43
2
$\begingroup$

Was it...

her name?
Lets say her name is Anna.. that would be a palindrome and I'd guess it wouldnt differ in any other languages since names arent translated most of the time.

Second guess after reading the comment of the OP

maybe "SOS"? If you turn "s" upside down you'll get "s"

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Not the same upside down though. Also names can be translated. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Almost thought that might've worked, but A) I don't think SOS is a proper word and B) collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/sos SOS is different in some languages $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Only in the same sense as that in which the "correct" answer is different in some (in fact, most) languages. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 13 '16 at 10:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ maybe it is lol $\endgroup$ – siniradam Jun 13 '16 at 10:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry to upset you, but in Hebrew this word isn't a palindrome since the last letter is changed in this case: אנה $\endgroup$ – Dmitry Ginzburg Jun 13 '16 at 14:46
2
$\begingroup$

Simple

She lying to you.There are 6000+ languages in the world and there is no such word as she describe.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ My friend is aghast. She promises that there is. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Inazuma Hmm. I might be wrong here, but I think that not even all languages can be written with the same character sets. I think there is even one which can not be written at all. That would strenthen Javy's point. How sure is "your friend" about the "all" in "all languages" ? $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 13 '16 at 8:48
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I have updated my post. The word does exist. $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 13 '16 at 8:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.