I often talk about how some words seem to hover in the ether (or aether, if you prefer) and will themselves into being, often by jumping into multiple brains near-simultaneously. And now I have a great example of this phenomenon, which I can share with you.
I just (and by 'just', I mean 'in the past several weeks') got a lovely email from Anthony Durity, in response to my TED talk, and letting me know a word he invented, ygology. Ygology, is, of course, the study of palindromes.
Now, I thought, that's a cool word. Let's Google it. So I did, and found some competing coinage claims.
Which, frankly, only makes sense. Knowing what a palindrome is, and knowing the suffix -ology, ygology was inevitable. It had to be born; English almost demanded it.
It's probably possible (with some taking of depositions) to determine exactly who first used ygology, and when, and in response to what … but why bother? We have the word, which is the important thing, after all. I think coining claims should be like Nobels; nobody minds if two or three people win one together.
The illustration above is an ambigram, a kind of visual palindrome, done by John Langdon. Check out his website!