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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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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Apropos of Nothing

October 15, 2013 (permalink)

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"'You can never be too careful,' he said apropos of nothing, and smacked his lips." —Laurie Fox, The Lost Girls (2011)
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October 14, 2013 (permalink)

 "'Honeysuckle,' he said, apropos of nothing but the night air."
Grace Burrowes, The Heir (2010)

[See also our previous bit regarding somebody else's honeysuckle.]

Honeysuckle by Vickysaurus.
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August 7, 2013 (permalink)

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"He told us, apropos of nothing in particular, that Freudians tended to have 'more swinging' parties than post-Freudians."
Victor Chen, Anti-Politics: A Story and Various Papers
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August 5, 2013 (permalink)

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"[He] says, apropos of nothing in that sunny afternoon's affable, inconsequential banter, and in crisply enunciated, declamatory English: 'The world, which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, beautiful, so new, hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help from pain; and we are here as on a darklling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight where ignorant armies clash by night."
Mark Leyner, The Tetherballs of Bougainville: A Novel (2011)
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July 16, 2013 (permalink)

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"Apropos nothing. How blue is your ray?"
Ran de Gota
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January 22, 2013 (permalink)

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"'You can't have a fear of the unknown,' the artist/beggar Gabriel Fluke tells me, apropos of nothing.  'You have a fear of the known.  You have a fear of what you know.'"
James S. Kunen, Diary of a Company Man (2012)
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January 3, 2013 (permalink)

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"If there was such a thing as seeing a ghost, Doris had seen one.  She stared at the shopping bag.  'Fondly I'm dreaming, ever of thee,' she quoted softly, apropos of nothing."
Judith Bowen, The Wild Child (2012)
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December 17, 2012 (permalink)

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"[A]propos of nothing.  'It always happens in threes.'"
Catherine McKenzie, Spin (2012)
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November 27, 2012 (permalink)

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"[A]propos of nothing, 'Don't worry. Everything will come out all right. Things will work out for the best.'"
Project Rebirth (2011)
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September 10, 2012 (permalink)

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"[He] told her over pudding – compote of wild berries – about his mother suddenly saying, apropos of nothing it seemed, 'The puddings of time,' and about how she might write a book about puddings through the ages."
Isla Dewar, Secrets of a Family Album (2012)
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September 5, 2012 (permalink)

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"[A]propos of nothing, 'Yes, I want something to eat.'"
Elliott Leyton, Men of Blood (2011)
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August 23, 2012 (permalink)

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"Parenthetically, 'He must needs go whom the devil drives.'"
—John Hull, quoted in Francis J. Bremer's First Founders (2012)
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August 17, 2012 (permalink)

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"'Now you'll have something to write about,' she said one afternoon in the kitchen, apropos of nothing, talking without talking at all about the terrible thing that was happening to her as, instead, a terrible thing that was happening to me."
Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (2012)
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July 26, 2012 (permalink)

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"And apropos of nothing at all he adds, 'We are nice people. Not everyone understands that.'"
John McPhee, La Place de la Concorde Suisse
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July 9, 2012 (permalink)

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"Freud notes that ideas (and sometimes solutions to problems) seem to just pop into awareness apropos of nothing. Where do they come from? Where are such problems worked out?"
Frank Tallis, Hidden Minds: A History of the Unconscious (2012)
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June 25, 2012 (permalink)

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"The pictures were apropos of nothing; they had been suggested by nothing I had been reading or talking of; they simply came as if I had been able to look through a glass at what was occurring somewhere else in the world."
Swami Panchadasi's Clairvoyance & Occult Powers: A Lost Classic (2011)
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April 28, 2012 (permalink)

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"It is worth noting, at least parenthetically, that what drives Oedipus to punish himself and to leave Thebes is not that he has broken the city's laws (Laios' murder took place outside Theban territory) but that he has infringed unwritten laws."
A Companion to Sophocles (2012)
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April 24, 2012 (permalink)

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"By the way of parenthesis, let me add: If you will try to realize that the inhabitants of the spheres above you are only human beings shorn of their earthly bodies, you can comprehend all I am going to tell you."
Jabez Hunt Nixon, Beyond the Veil
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April 11, 2012 (permalink)

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"And may I add that I believe this is going to make a most interesting
Malcolm MacDonald, Dancing on Snowflakes (1995)
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March 26, 2012 (permalink)

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"Everything good was either immoral or fattening, she added, apropos of nothing."
Richard Russo, Nobody's Fool (2011)
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