Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A design that may be read as the same word or phrase (or sometimes two different words or phrases) when oriented in two different ways, usually when reflected in a vertical axis or when rotated through 180 degrees.

Etymologies

ambi- + -gram (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Will...not...succumb. Will...not...succumb.

    September 24, 2007

  • Yesterday I spent a large (incredibly, regrettably large) portion of the day watching YouTube videos of a mentalist named Derren Brown. Warning: they're addictive and if you search for him you'll succumb to the same fate.

    Anyway, this ambigram is from a TV show of his called -- surprise -- Trick or Treat. In the show, unsuspecting people are visited by Brown, and he presents them with two cards. Both cards contain the same ambigram, but Brown tells the people "if you pick the TREAT card, something nice will happen to you... but if you pick the TRICK card, something really really horrible will happen to you. Do you agree to the game? Now just sign this waiver that says we can do anything we like to you, based on which card you pick." Of course, with a card like that, the victim is entirely at Derren Brown's mercy, and he proceeds to mess with people's minds in preposterous ways, literally driving them insane. Afterwards, he claims the effects are only temporary and they'll be fine... but there's no way to know for sure. It's really pretty sick.

    September 23, 2007

  • Cool! But it's not Halloween yet! :-)

    September 23, 2007

  • September 23, 2007

  • An ambigram, also sometimes known as an inversion, is a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation. Douglas R. Hofstadter describes an ambigram as a "calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves." The first published reference to the term was by Hofstadter, who attributes the origin of the word to a friend. The 1999 edition of Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach features a 3-D ambigram on the cover.

    June 23, 2007