CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
July 5, 2011 (permalink)

We're honored to have contributed a chapter to Edvin Thungren's new book, The Ampersand, viewable here.
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April 17, 2011 (permalink)

Ceci n'est pas une ampersand.
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April 10, 2011 (permalink)

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit like kisses.
Sylvia Plath, "An Appearance"

Here's a photo of an ampersand kiss.
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April 3, 2011 (permalink)

In this quotation about dual allegiances, the ampersand is likened to a geometrical diagram for squaring a circle:

Like an 'ampersand' religious believer, an 'ampersand' political citizen is trying to square an impossible circle.
Dual Citizenship, Birthright Citizenship, and the Meaning of Sovereignty (2005)

Indeed, we see similarities between Archimedes' solution to circling the square and the design of an ampersand.
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March 7, 2011 (permalink)

"The & is a possibility."
Geof Huth
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February 9, 2011 (permalink)

Avoid ampersands and thorns, suggests The American Archivist (Vol. 28, 1965, p. 363).

Geof Huth writes:

Craig, now you're reading my professional literature too? (Though I've written but one book review for The American Archivist.)

Prof. Oddfellow responds:

Geof, you have indeed developed my interest in archivia.  (I'd ask you if that was a word, but I can already guess your answer.)  By the way, with fresh eyes I see that I should have done a "flip horizontal" on the thorn. 
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December 17, 2010 (permalink)

While decorative type ornaments are predominantly botanical in nature, punctuation marks betray bestial origins.  The ampersand, for example, descends from a snakelike fish.
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August 29, 2010 (permalink)

Omegaword suggests using amperbangs in the names of law firms as a testament that two heads are bigger than one.
We celebrate Omegaword's invention of the amperbang and now realize we've seen amperbang facial expressions, as when someone nods enthusiastically, eyebrows raised, to prod us to reveal a seemingly inevitable and yet elusive punch line.


Jeff writes:

Ha! I know the facial expression well, having experienced that "amperbang moment" once or twice (i.e. too many times) myself.
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June 21, 2010 (permalink)

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May 18, 2010 (permalink)

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April 19, 2010 (permalink)

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March 15, 2010 (permalink)

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February 19, 2010 (permalink)

Photo by Crystalyn.
A reviewer from Sydney, Australia says this of our book on ampersands:

If you are interested in the history of the ampersand and other interesting trivia about it, this is definitely the book to get.

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February 15, 2010 (permalink)

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January 11, 2010 (permalink)

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December 16, 2009 (permalink)

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November 23, 2009 (permalink)

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November 11, 2009 (permalink)

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October 28, 2009 (permalink)

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October 14, 2009 (permalink)

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