Being Palin-dromatic

Posted: April 7, 2016 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Santa lived as a devil at NASA.

No, it’s not rocket science. If you don’t normally read things left to right and then right to left immediately you Capturemay not have noticed that the above sentence is actually a palindrome – a word, phrase, number or other sequence of characters which reads the same backwards and forwards. In fact, palindrome itself is a semordnilaps of flesti! OK, no it’s not, but I just wanted to see if you had dozed off at the words ‘rocket science’ and ‘palindrome’ being in back to back sentences.

Why am I writing about a figure of speech when it is obvious from this and all my other postings that I pay little to no attention to sentence structure, proper grammar, and/or correct usage of words? It’s simply because someone at my company recently released a sentence into the great sub-ether of the earth’s mantle that has caused me equal parts consternation and amazement.

Was it the answer to life?             No.

Was it the answer to what happens after you die?           No.

It was simply an attempt by one of our company’s finest to explain a procedure. However, they unwittingly contrived a sentence that I could find no other explanation for other than the aforementioned palindrome. In this Capture3type of palindrome (which in reality does not seem to exist – but SHOULD) the writer takes us down an idea path in the first part, twists that idea path in the second, and in an Escher-esque stroke of brilliance verbally upchucks it all back up at us in the final slap of the seal flipper. We’re left at the end of the sentence breathless and wanting more – not ever wanting to have to read the paragraph again yet somehow needing to read and reread due to the sheer magnificence of the passage.

Here, without further ado, is said sentence:

If the Profit Center(s) being set up are under a statement of work which has been previously assigned a “product” or “service” classification the profit center(s) should be assigned a product/service classification consistent with the product/service classification of the existing profit center on the statement of work.

I’m not a stupid human being in general. I scored very well on my SATs and am regularly viewed by others around me as “not a stupid human being.” Being branded as “not stupid”, I dutifully tried to break down this sentence time and time again trying to figure out what they were saying. I get about halfway through the sentence just cruising along, and then the words start to magically wrap around, moving over and under themselves in graceful arcs – sending my pea-sized brain into full shut-down mode.

To demonstrate that this type of sentence should be a palindrome, let me break it down another way. Let’s take key words and place them in order as they appear. Suddenly all will become clear that this is obviously a Communist plot of massive proportions to get my company to collapse:

If the Profit Center(s) being set up are under a statement of work which has been previously assigned a “product” or “service” classification the profit center(s) should be assigned a product/service classification consistent with the product/service classification of the existing profit center on the statement of work.Capture2

Profit Center
Statement of work
Product/Service

Profit Center
Product/Service

Product/Service
Profit Center
Statement of work

So the Communists have broken this down into the 3/2/3 structure that is globally known as the ‘Communist Red Capture1Anti-Democracy Party’ formation – or “CRAP” for you acronym lovers out there. We will not be swayed, you Commie Pinko bastards. Democracy will rise and you will suffer. TEAR DOWN THE WALLS! ICH EIN BERLINER! BIGFOOT LIVES!

Oh – by the way. If any of you can explain what this sentence means, I would really appreciate it. Accounting is waiting for me to start following this procedure and I’m getting pinged by them on a daily basis.

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Comments
  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, that made my head hurt. Do they really think anyone can process that sentence? Or wants to?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anonymous says:

    You know that all its saying is that if it was assigned before, use that same assigned value and don’t create a new one. And yes, I’ve been working in government too long, reading too many specifications and lawyers letters. And yes again, there are employees who need to be told this too often. You wouldn’t believe the paragraphs you have to read to try to discipline someone!

    Liked by 1 person

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