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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The Right Word

March 9, 2018 (permalink)

Here's part of a deliberately unfinished sentence (or, rather, a sentence finished with dashes).  From In the World of Signs, Essays in Honour of Professor Jerzy Pelc, 1998.
"What will be left of all the fearing and wanting associated with your problematic life situation that every day takes up most of your attention?  A dash, one or two inches long, between the date of birth and date of death on your gravestone." —Eckhart Tolle
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March 7, 2018 (permalink)

Be careful whom you call a messerschlucker.  From Fliegende Blätter, 1926.
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February 12, 2018 (permalink)

For heathen read heartless.  For scare read sense.  For lest read list.  For Bill read body.  From The Pilot, 1900.
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February 7, 2018 (permalink)

For whether, read where.  For beneath, read cometh.  From The Canada Law Journal, 1873.
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February 5, 2018 (permalink)

"Howly jabers."  From Judge's Library, 1887.
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February 4, 2018 (permalink)

From Gate to English, Book I by Will David Howe, 1915.
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January 31, 2018 (permalink)

When the enemy is upon you, just "m-m-b-l-m-b-l-m."  From The Judge, 1917.   See Wye's Dictionary of Improbable Words: All-Vowel Words And All-Consonant Words.
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"And yet—" [a very long dash followed by an isosceles triangle of asterisks].  From Possessed by Cleveland Moffett, 1920.
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January 25, 2018 (permalink)

For fermented, read permeated.  For desire, read devise.  For moley, read motley.  "Two or three errors" [spoiler -- it's three] from The Michigan Journal of Education, 1860.
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January 20, 2018 (permalink)

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January 18, 2018 (permalink)

Here's a spicy novel from 1873.
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January 17, 2018 (permalink)

Balmy, not haling; ever, not even; disperse, not dispense; thy, not the.  Corrections from The Kappa Alpha Journal, 1901.
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January 16, 2018 (permalink)

A secret message revealed by overlaying a "grille."  From Cosmopolitan, 1904.
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January 9, 2018 (permalink)

Here are some interpuncts translated by Isabel F. Hapgood for "It Is Enough" by Iván Turgénieff, 1915.
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January 8, 2018 (permalink)

He's everyone's contemporary: "John J. Coincidence."  From The Saturday Evening Post, 1919.
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Here's the figure (as well as the all-consonant word) for a cartoonish smooch.  From Fliegende Blätter, 1938.   See Wye's Dictionary of Improbable Words: All-Vowel Words And All-Consonant Words.
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January 7, 2018 (permalink)

If, in the language of flowers, friendship is a four-leaf clover, love is a daisy, and courtship is a rose, then divorce is an onion, marriage is a cabbage, and alimony is a lemon.  From The Judge, 1913.
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From The Boston Edge, 1986, via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.
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January 5, 2018 (permalink)

For fruit read forest, but for forest read first.  For growth read girth.  Corrections from The Indian Forester, 1891.
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January 3, 2018 (permalink)

From the literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

Chaos is inchoate, but it's so inchoate that its "c-h-a-o" has no etymological relationship to the other word's "c-h-o-a."

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