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.
Restoring the Lost Sense

July 23, 2016 (permalink)

"The pecularity of which is a most amazing lather."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1871.
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From Archiv der Pharmazie, 1854.
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From Quarles' Emblems, 1861.
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From Légendes Valaisannes, illustrated by Eugéne Reichlen, 1919.
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From Nouvelles Histoires sur de Vieux Proverbes by Gustave Fraipont, 1908.
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From The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum, 1911.
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From The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1904.
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From The Endless Story by Violet Moore Higgins, 1916.
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From Christmas Cheer by Angus Reach, James Hannay and Albert Smith,
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July 22, 2016 (permalink)

"It is a day when I feel my friends almost justified in their scrupulous avoidance of me."  From English Illustrated, 1898.  (Previously, we discovered this precursor to the "unfollow" and "unfriend" phenomenon of social media.)
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Here's one of the cards from the Self-Intuiting Polarity deck.  Sunlight streams into a vase due to a crack.  The sunlight reflects through the vase and onto a cloud.  "In the middle of the shadow, like a gleam of light through a crack, the way ... is in our power, as long as we will ourselves to do so” (G. von Leibniz).
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From The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, 1920.
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"The boys with the golden stars."  From The Violet Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 1906.
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Here's how grandfather clocks materialize, from King Time by Percy Keese Fitzhugh, 1908.
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From Christian Similitudes by John Warner Barber, 1866.
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From Rübezahl Erzählungen by K. A. Müller, 1800.
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"The woman and the serpent."  From The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1884.
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July 21, 2016 (permalink)

Before the woeful decline of literacy, folks were actually accosted for not reading.  The caption says, "Here, I say, you don't seem to be reading!"  From English Illustrated, 1897.
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Original Content Copyright © 2016 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.