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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Restoring the Lost Sense

Today — July 28, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "He seemed a dog adrift."

An illustration from Our English Cousins by Richard Harding Davis (1894).  The caption reads: "People one knows take one for a butler."

Yesterday — July 27, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Century of Louis XIV by Emile Bourgeois (1896).

Here's a question we ask almost every day.  "Great Heavens! What has happened?" Found in Illustrated Penny Tales From the Strand Library (1894).

July 26, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from In Borderland by Matthew Robert Smith Craig and illustrated by John Wallace (1899).

An illustration from The Letters of Charles Dickens (1893).  The caption reads: "Mysterious installation of Mrs. Pinch."

July 25, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The World of Romance (1892).  The caption reads: "A live devilkin!"

An illustration by Frederick C. Gordon from A Doctor of the Old School by Ian Maclaren (1895).  The caption reads: "Death after all was victor."

July 24, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "The mirror here confirmed me this."

July 23, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from On Blue Water by Edmondo de Amicis (1898).  The caption reads: "Grinding out curses."

An illustration from Vikram and Vampire by Charles F Burton (1893).  The caption reads: "There he found the Jogi."

July 22, 2014 (permalink)

"The Sparking Fluid": an illustration from Ask Mama by Robert Smith Surtees (1892).

An illustration from Artful Anticks by Oliver Herford (1894).  The caption reads: "Alas, for castles in the air!— There's no delusion anywhere."

July 21, 2014 (permalink)

"They have great ears": an illustration from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile (1895).

An illustration from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile (1895).  The caption reads: "Their eyes and their mouths be behind in their shoulders."

July 20, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works (1884).  The caption reads: "They all broke through the window at once."

An illustration from Tom Chester's Sweetheart by Joseph Hatton (1895).  The caption reads: "That's me—the renowned alibone chick."

July 19, 2014 (permalink)

"Black Ladies": an illustration from A History of Tong, Shropshire by George Griffiths of Weston under Lizard (1894).

July 18, 2014 (permalink)

"Do you wear pants?"  From A Ramble Round the Globe by Baron Dewar (1894).

July 17, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Revelations of a Sprite by Auber Melville Jackson (1897).  The caption reads: "'Hum,' said the owl."

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