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.
Everybody's Doing This Now

August 11, 2015 (permalink)

From The 'Loil' Legislature of Alabama by Benjamin Screws, 1868.

August 9, 2015 (permalink)

July 20, 2015 (permalink)

"The Pic-nic" from Charles O'Malley by Charles James Lever and illustrated by Phiz, 1892.

June 19, 2015 (permalink)

"A most convivial meeting," from Handley Cross by Robert Smith Surtees, 1892.

June 6, 2015 (permalink)

From The Up-to-Date Primer by John Wilson Bengough, 1896.

May 21, 2015 (permalink)

From McElroy's Philadelphia City Directory, 1837.  Can you guess the context?  (Highlight to view):

April 10, 2015 (permalink)

From Paris Herself Again in 1878-9 by George Augustus Henry Sala, 1800.

March 28, 2015 (permalink)

"A rolling chaos of animated rotundities," from Maid Marian, and Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock, 1895.

March 9, 2015 (permalink)

February 20, 2015 (permalink)

Here's a captive audience from The Choice Works of Thomas Hood, 1881.

From The Briar Patch by Sweet Briar College, 1920.

February 14, 2015 (permalink)

This is also a precursor to the MGM film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).  From Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.

February 3, 2015 (permalink)

January 25, 2015 (permalink)

"Looking under sofas and easy-chairs in the company of a popular actress and a French maid," from Bushigrams by Guy Newell Boothby, 1897.

January 19, 2015 (permalink)

From Travels on Horseback in Mantchu Tartary by George Fleming, 1863.

January 10, 2015 (permalink)

From Travels on Horseback in Mantchu Tartary by George Fleming, 1863.

"Waiting," from Australian Sketches Made on Tour by Harry Furniss, 1899.

January 6, 2015 (permalink)

"They jumped in all at once," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

December 29, 2014 (permalink)

"They glared ferociously upon the Americans," from Nasby in Exile by David Ross Locke, 1882.

December 27, 2014 (permalink)

From La Vie à Montmartre by Georges Montorgueil, 1899.

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