"A man, a plan, a canal--Panama" (1955)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sun Dec 12 16:45:06 UTC 2004

On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 10:15:01 -0500, Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>

>On Sat, 11 Dec 2004, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>> That palindrome was published in 1948 by Leigh Mercer, though it's
>> possible that Mercer was not the first to have found it.  From _Word Ways:
>> The Journal of Recreational Linguistics_:
>Do we know anything about who Leigh Mercer was and what his birth and
>death dates were?

Leigh Mercer (1893-1977) drew caricatures on the sidewalks of London.
When he joined the National Puzzlers League in 1952, he adopted the nom de
plume of "Roger G. M'Gregor".  That's about all the information I have at
hand, but there's more in the article "Leigh Mercer, Palindromist" by A.
Ross Eckler in _Word Ways_ 24, 3 (August 1991):131-138.

--Ben Zimmer

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