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.
I Found a Penny Today, So Here’s a Thought

September 2, 2018 (permalink)

Is nature suicidal?  From Accepting the Universe by John Burroughs, 1920.
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September 1, 2018 (permalink)

The introduction to Puffs and Mysteries (a.k.a. A. B. Has Returned, 1855) is addressed to the "mythical multitude of readers," since few ever read prefatory matter.  "What no one thinks of reading is of course beyond criticism," so the author safely fills paper while going to very little trouble.
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One of these ladies is wearing an imposter designer label.  (Insert your own "fake news" joke.  Having earned a degree in journalism, we bemoan the current degradation of the media.  Granted, the press has never in history truly been free; it has always been a propaganda engine, but traditionally there was at least a pretense of objectivity.  As La Rochefoucauld famously said, "hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue."  Now it's bare-faced bias.  Disgusting!)  From Lustige Blätter, 1917.
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"The love that caught strange light from death's own eyes" —Algernon Charles Swinburne.
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August 30, 2018 (permalink)

"A fairy palace, with a fairy garden; inside the trolls dwell, working at their magic forges, making and making always things rare and strange." —Charles Kingsley
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August 24, 2018 (permalink)

"Esoteric students everywhere understand that California is one of the occult eyes of the world, because it still retains the magnetism of prehistoric times, never having been visited by the ice ages or flood, and only in recent geological reckoning being partially purified by fire.  Its Sancrit name is Kali (time) and purna (fulfillment)."  From Yermah the Dorado by Frona Eunice Wait, 1897.
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August 12, 2018 (permalink)

For "test chamber" read "Tiki bar."  "Test chamber shows if men can stand tropic life."  From Popular Mechanics, 1927.
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August 6, 2018 (permalink)

"And yet I lift my sightless face / Toward the eerie light, / And tread the lonely way we trace / Across the haunted night."  From The Collected Poems of Wilfred Campbell, 1905.
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August 2, 2018 (permalink)

Here's a note to the unreal reader in a book that purports not to be real.  From Living Alone by Stella Benson, 1920.
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From literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

Entomologically speaking, there are antennae on an ant. But etymologically speaking, there is no ant in antennae.

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July 28, 2018 (permalink)

From The Judge, 1920: "Behold the hole in the doughnut!  It remains the centre of distraction and you can't swallow it, hide it or give it away.  It's only a little thing but before it will give up, a man many times its size has to take off his shirt before he can make it let go."
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July 22, 2018 (permalink)

Better late than never?  Page 174 begins, "Now that I have your attention (I hope)."  From Monsters and Magical Sticks by Steven Heller and Terry Steele.
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July 14, 2018 (permalink)

"Some little sound of unregarded tears." —Algernon Charles Swinburne.
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July 13, 2018 (permalink)

"The Universe is upheld solely by the law of Love" -- a facsimile of Marie Corelli's manuscript, reproduced in The Idler, 1894.
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July 5, 2018 (permalink)

From "Ghost Gossips at Bogle Hall," in The Royal Lady's Magazine, 1831.
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June 30, 2018 (permalink)

We agree -- dump all the tragedy of the book in the prologue.  From A Study in Temptations by John Oliver Hobbes, 1893.
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Here's a circular, dead black line that means not nothing but rather zero.  From Zero the Slaver by Lawrence Fletcher, 1892.
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June 21, 2018 (permalink)

Every castle in the air has Candles in the Sun (by William Griffith, 1921).
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June 12, 2018 (permalink)

A ghost in the shape of the sound of a drum.  From Did You Ever See a Ghost? by Robert C. V. Meyers, 1885.
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June 11, 2018 (permalink)

How true those words are, even today.  From Lacon by Charles Caleb Colton, 1837.
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