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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Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
What's In a Name
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


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Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led

Be neither saint nor sophist-led, but be a man.
—Matthew Arnold

February 9, 2018 (permalink)

From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1901.
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January 18, 2018 (permalink)

Here's the patron saint of bureaucracy.  From Jugend, 1920.
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December 22, 2017 (permalink)

From Jugend, 1904.
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September 27, 2017 (permalink)

From Pick Me Up, 1894.
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September 23, 2017 (permalink)

From Pick Me Up, 1894.
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August 24, 2017 (permalink)

From Jugend, 1904.
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June 30, 2017 (permalink)

"The Bishop of Fools."  From A History of Caricature and Grotesque in Literature and Art by Thomas Wright, 1875.
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June 13, 2017 (permalink)

From Pearson's, 1898.
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May 30, 2017 (permalink)

"I thought at first I had reached Hell.  There seemed no God, but horrible desolation and emptiness.  That was because I was not tuned, nor could I manipulate my new form.  I was all at sea, and lonely beyond words." —Fear Not the Crossing by Gail Williams, 1920.
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April 28, 2017 (permalink)

From Grip, 1884.
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April 16, 2017 (permalink)

Here's St. Profitius, from Die Leuchtrakete, 1932.
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February 15, 2017 (permalink)

Here's the patron saint of bureaucrats.  From Jugend, 1906.
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January 16, 2017 (permalink)

A portrait of "St. Somebody or other," from Pick Me Up, 1895.
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September 8, 2016 (permalink)

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July 18, 2016 (permalink)

Here's Saint Swithin, the patron saint of rain, slush, catarrhs, and rheumatism, from Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1879.
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July 17, 2016 (permalink)

"His comrades christened him Aladdin on account of his wonderful lamp."  From The American Legion Weekly, Sept. 2, 1921, illustrated by Wallgren.
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June 28, 2016 (permalink)

Here's "the lord of the faithless," from The Men in the Moon or The Devil to Pay, illustrated by George Cruikshank, 1820.
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June 22, 2016 (permalink)

We applaud Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (with its charming, time-bending solution to the true authorship of the Shakespeare plays) for the all-consonant St. Zvlkx, whose Thoughts Of is found in a motel drawer next to a Gideon Bible, the teachings of Buddha, and the complete works of the Bard (among other things).
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June 9, 2016 (permalink)

Here's the patron saint of mawkish sentimentality, from Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina, 1907.

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April 28, 2016 (permalink)

From Monmouth College's Ravelings yearbook, 1906.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
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Original Content Copyright © 2018 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.