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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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.
We can now confirm that the following is very literally true:
"The writer of a dictionary rises every morning like the sun to move past some little star in his zodiac; a new letter is to him a new year's festival, the conclusion of the old one a harvest-home; and, since after each capital letter the whole alphabet follows successively, the author on his paper may perhaps frequently celebrate on one and the same day a Sunday, a Lady-day, and a Crispin's holiday." —Jean Paul Richter, Levana
You know that there were, famously, two actors who played Darrin Stephens in the classic series Bewitched. But in 14 episodes, the role was handled by neither Dick York nor Dick Sargent. Who was this virtually unknown third Darrin? (Hint: it was neither of their stunt doubles, nor is it an "Alan Smithee" who disavowed being associated with the series.) The answer is actually difficult to talk about, because in 14 episodes the character of Darrin was played by a non-entity: not merely an invisible man, but an anti-person, if you will a Ne'er N. Stephens. Though spoken to on the telephone, and performing his advertising job either at the office or out of town, Mr. Nobody played Darrin. The key issue is that the character still figured into these plots — his presence and importance was never ignored. Darrin existed in those 14 episodes, though played by a no-name, a zero.
We applaud the cliffhanger at the bottom of the first column. Yet both headlines are, typical of the press, inaccurate. There's no near-riot, and the weird mystery is not actually solved (see next to last paragraph). Best detail: the location is spooky sounding: "Gimghoul Road." From Daily Tar Heel, 1939.
The reason that the film Riding in Cars with Boys didn't debut until 2001 is that it was previously barred. The headline reads, "Freshmen barred from auto rides with frat men." From Daily Tar Heel, 1939.