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 OneLetterWords.com.

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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Someone Should Write a Book on ...

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.

June 21, 2013 (permalink)

Someone should write a book about a person who gets stuck as a go-between in what is an escalating fight to the death.  He is only the messenger or message-bearer but eventually has to start introducing dangerous people and delivering things between estates like disguised poison.  Eventually, he doesn't even know what innocence is anymore and what is complicity.  And all he signed on to do was let people speak.
William Keckler

June 16, 2013 (permalink)

I would love to find a book in a thrift store titled Feet Dangling as a Rewarding and Enriching Hobby.
William Keckler

May 22, 2013 (permalink)

Someone should write a guide to Jerry Lewis films that aren't Jerry Lewis vehicles.*

*Inspired by Jonathan, who said, "We gave up on watching Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River. (Imagine my shock and outrage when this movie starring Jerry Lewis turned out to be nothing but a Jerry Lewis vehicle!)"

[Jonathan later added, "Did you ever see the film version of Visit to a Small Planet? See, there's a movie starring Lewis that's not a Jerry Lewis vehicle.  Even Jerry Lewis's performances in the film are not Jerryesque."]

April 20, 2013 (permalink)

William Keckler suggests that someone should "write a novel about a 'haunted house' in which the one haunted is actually the house, which dimly perceives the family which inhabits it--which feels them as a sort of infestation by ghosts."

January 19, 2013 (permalink)

Here are some great unused book titles from Raymond Chandler's notebooks:

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2013/01/12/a-gumshoes-library/

January 12, 2013 (permalink)

"Someone should write a book where the main character slowly falls in love with the reader."  (Source.  Thanks, Jonathan!)



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