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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Someone Should Write a Book on ...

April 30, 2015 (permalink)

Someone should "write an epic of Hell on the sky in letters of sulphurous fire." —Beachcomber, By the Way (1931)

January 30, 2015 (permalink)

Dan suggests a book someone should write:

I wonder if anyone has taken the trouble to catalogue English verbs that are used both transitively and intransitively and which exhibit a substantial difference in meaning between the two. "He drinks tea." "He drinks." That sort of thing. For all I know, that's the case with most of them, and the catalogue would be a weighty volume. Transitive verbs are apparently an irresistible source for neologisms. You just check to see whether an intransitive form exists and is doing anything in particular. No? Dude, that's low-hanging fruit. "He walked"; i.e., "He was acquitted." I'm not sure when that one first appeared, but I suspect it's modern. If I were going to waste my time on such a book, I'd print the intransitive expression on the right page, with a transitive continuation on the next page (following an ellipsis, perhaps). It would be an entertaining read, as you could almost physically feel the shift in meaning as you turned the page, and besides, some of them are quite whimsical. "They parked." A young lady's virtue hangs in the balance. Turn the page.  "...the car." She remains intacto. Even more fun would be a collection of transitive verbs currently lacking an intransitive use but listed as if they did, and letting the imagination land where it may. Practically poetry. "He brings." Roll it around on the tongue. Suggests to me a generous and helpful type of person. "I like Fred. He brings, you know?" "Yeah, I know what you mean. The world needs more bringers."

December 23, 2014 (permalink)

Someone should write an autobiography entitled, The Point I was Trying to Make All Along.  [Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.]

October 10, 2014 (permalink)

William Keckler suggests that someone should publish an extremely large anthology of poetry entitled Too Cool for Relevance.

September 10, 2014 (permalink)

Write a novel about a geneticist who discovers the secret of cellular immortality.  And she makes a cat immortal.  Then she destroys her notes.  And nobody can figure out how she made the cat immortal for another seven hundred years.  Maybe she was going through a bad breakup at the time and took it out on humanity.  Or she just didn't have much hope for people. —William Keckler

June 24, 2014 (permalink)

Someone should write a book entitled Finesse, and a Parachute.

(Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.)

February 7, 2014 (permalink)

William Keckler suggests that someone should publish a Best American Kvetching annual anthology.  And a companion volume: Best American Kvelling annual anthology.

January 22, 2014 (permalink)

"You should write a book in your spare time.  The Grand Duchess's Guide to Winter Amusements: How to Have Fun in the Snow Without Showing Your Petticoats." —Sarah Miller, The Lost Crown

November 29, 2013 (permalink)

"Nothing like an emotional roller-coaster ride followed by a crying jag.  Someone should write a book about it; it could be the new fitness/exercise craze."
Louisa Edwards, Can't Stand the Heat

November 13, 2013 (permalink)

"Perhaps someone should write a diet book called The Cooking Smells Diet.  It would be enormously popular because it didn't involve restricting yourself to beans, or searching for a constant supply of fresh pineapple, or even doing aerobic exercise."
Imogen Parker, The Things We Do For Love

November 3, 2013 (permalink)

"Write a novel in which so many uncanny things happen, that when one normal thing occurs, everybody is freaked out and psychologically destroyed. I suppose this could be a war novel."
William Keckler

October 28, 2013 (permalink)

"Maybe politeness is the same as sarcasm.  Someone should write that book.  Against Politeness."
Tao Lin, Eeeee Eee Eeee: A Novel

October 18, 2013 (permalink)

"Someone should write a big book about translation ... from Humboldt to today.  If you take a closer look, you soon realize that ultimately translation doesn't exist.  And suddenly you're caught in a trap."
Ingo Schulze, New Lives (2008)

October 3, 2013 (permalink)

Photo courtesy of Fire at Will.
Someone should write a book entitled How to Talk to Your Children About Slap Bass.

(Inspired by Things That Exist.)

October 2, 2013 (permalink)

I think someone should write a book and call it Women Men Never Approach in the First Place.
Rene Foss, Around the World in a Bad Mood (2012)

July 22, 2013 (permalink)

"Write a novel in which the text is actually incredibly small barbed wire embedded in the page.  Make sure this novel is at least a thousand pages long and is set in a very finical font with lots of curlicues.  The reader's fingers should repeatedly get cut while reading/handling this novel, and by the time the reader is done the book should have drunk its fill of blood." —William Keckler

July 17, 2013 (permalink)

"Write a novel titled Ghost Co-Op.  Actually, I feel a novel with this title should 'write itself.'"
William Keckler

July 8, 2013 (permalink)

Someone should write a lurid paperback entitled Somebody Else's Honeysuckle.

(Thanks to Michael and Jonathan, who worked in tandem on this one.)

Photo of honeysuckle blossoms and maple leaves courtesy of Charles Haynes.

June 27, 2013 (permalink)

"Write a novel about a young child who refuses to believe his mother (his only living parent) is his mother, because he refuses to believe he was born.  Maybe he's the Buddha or maybe he's just an idiot.  Maybe it's the same difference." —William Keckler

June 22, 2013 (permalink)

"I should like to know how they began all these big businesses, and on how little or how much money, and how the partners met each other.  Where did Fortnum pick up Mason? for example.  There ought to be a book about it."
E. V. Lucas, Down the Sky (1930)

This Fortnum & Mason photo incorporates elements from Natachenka and Stuck in Customs.

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