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
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Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
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Test Your ESP
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Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
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Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
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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
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Forgotten Wisdom
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
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It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
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Not Rocket Science
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On One Condition
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Only Funny If ...
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Peace Symbols to Color
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Which is Funnier
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Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
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Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
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The 40 Most Meaningful Things
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Something, Defined

October 10, 2015 (permalink)


From "The Modern Pastoral Elegy: A Tick-Where-Appropriate Template" by Conor O'Callaghan, in A Companion to Poetic Genre.

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September 21, 2015 (permalink)


From Stephen King's Revival (405 pages).

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September 20, 2015 (permalink)

"It's always mocha something, something, something else, decaf."
—Alan Katz, Poems I Wrote When No One Else Was Looking, 2011

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August 2, 2015 (permalink)


From Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith.

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July 16, 2015 (permalink)


From Z. Z. Packer's "Pita Delicous," in All About Skin, 2014.

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May 19, 2015 (permalink)


From The H. Jon Benjamin Handbook by Emily Smith, 2013.

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April 15, 2015 (permalink)

"What’s there?  Cloud.  Fly.  My square eye.  Something something something." —Gary Barwin (see entire piece here)

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February 15, 2015 (permalink)

"Something, something, something.  Something, something.  Something!"  From the "By Appointment" episode of the timelessly funny Are You Being Served?

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November 26, 2014 (permalink)

"You're always thinking something is something else."
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August 16, 2014 (permalink)

"'Give me the life I love,' said Mr. Plumstead, 'let the something go by me, tum-te-tum-tum-tum, and the something nigh me.'" —Edmund Crispin, Love Lies Bleeding
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April 21, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1901 issue of The Lady's Realm magazine.  The caption reads: "The mysterious something was dancing slyly in her eyes.  His own fired suddenly."
#vintage illustration #art #eyes
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April 18, 2014 (permalink)

From Kayvan Novak's hilarious Fonejacker series 2 (unseen footage).
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March 5, 2014 (permalink)

A book about nice things (for Jonathan Caws-Elwitt), from Lilliput Lyrics by William Brighty Rands and illustrated by Reginald Brimley Johnson (1899).
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May 13, 2013 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1879 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "There's always a something."
#vintage illustration #cat #art #dog #something
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April 4, 2013 (permalink)

"It's beans, beans, beans, beans."  A still from a bonus interview in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle.
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August 14, 2012 (permalink)

The entirety of history: "nothing, something, something, something, maybe something, nothing, something, something, something, something and not at once, something, something, assuredly there must be something, nothing." —William Keckler
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April 20, 2012 (permalink)

Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1910 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "For a long while he stood before the unfinished canvas, searching in it for any hint of that elusive and mysterious something, and found none."

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July 31, 2011 (permalink)

"But something, something means all."
Christine Brooke-Rose, Out
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June 16, 2011 (permalink)

"Hey, like Aretha, says: R-e-s-p-e-c-t.  Something something means to me or however the other lyrics go."
Christopher John Farley, My Favorite War
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May 19, 2011 (permalink)

"To find out what something means requires thinking beyond the given, concrete materials within a visual field and replacing 'what is' with 'what if.'" —Diane Lapp, Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts
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