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.
Select Creations
Search Site
Interactive

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Amalgamural
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers

Collections

A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Ampersands
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
Do-Re-Midi
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Pfft!
Phosphenes
Precursors
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Constellations
D-ictionary
Film-ictionary
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
Unicorns
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In

Archives

October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006

Links

SPOGG
Magic Words
Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
dbqp
Tonya Harding Shot JFK.com
Lord Whimsy
Phantasmaphile
Crystalpunk
BibliOdyssey
April Winchell
DJ Misc
Grow-a-brain
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
J-Walk Blog
Ironic Sans
Ursi's Blog
Brian Sibley's Blog
Omegaword
World of Wonder
Neat-o-Rama
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
December 31, 2006

Strange Dreams (permalink)

Like a faithful dog, Anubis attends mankind in death.  Illustration from The Egyptian Afterlife: The Soul’s Journey to Egypt's Paradise, AAA Encyclopedia.
Of all ancient Egyptian iconography, I've always found the most uncanny to be Anubis leaning over a mummy (with the winged soul of the deceased hovering above).  I get chills every time I see that image — not chills of fear, exactly, but of profound mystery.  Come to think of it, I suppose the image should make one's blood run cold, as that's what it's all about.  While I was looking online for statues of Anubis standing over the sarcophagus (alas, the statues never include the winged soul), I discovered the following intriguing explanation and invitation:

As every school child knows, Anubis – most often portrayed as a human figure with the head of a jackal or black dog – is a guardian of the Otherworld, who watches over tombs and mummies and guides souls of the departed to the Hall of Osiris.  But Anubis’ significance goes much deeper.  As psychopomp, or guide of souls, he is the patron of journeys beyond the body (which is why he is invoked to guard those who have left their bodies under trauma or anesthesia) and everyone journeys beyond the body in death and dreaming, with or without instruction.

[...]

If you want to dream like an Egyptian, in the best way, look for the black dog in your sleep tonight, when your eyes are opened in a dream.

—Shamanic counselor Robert Moss, "Dreaming Like an Egyptian," Soul Travel Magazine
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .

December 30, 2006

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Did you see the new movie, "When Harry Fell in Love with Sally Over a Bowl of Porridge"? 

Ugh -- it's just romantic mush.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .

December 29, 2006

The Right Word (permalink)
Spammers from Oz

Ken Clinger shared the following text about magic spectacles that reveal a person's character by illuminating letters of the alphabet on the forehead.  Ken found this text in a spam message:

Will you please wear these spectacles for a few moments?  The king at once put them on. They are called Character Markers, continued the boy, because the lenses catch and concentrate the character vibrations radiating from every human individual and reflect the true character of the person upon his forehead.  If a letter 'G' appears, you may be sure his disposition is good; if his forehead is marked with an 'E' his character is evil, and you must beware of treachery.

The passage is actually from something entitled:

The Master Key

An Electrical Fairy Tale
Founded Upon The Mysteries Of Electricity
And The Optimism Of Its Devotees. It Was
Written For Boys, But Others May Read It

by [noneother than] L. Frank Baum

The story is available for online reading here.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

December 28, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Hiding a Safe Behind a Painting

[A] safe hidden behind a painting—it was the oldest trick in the book.
—James Alan Gardner, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Man of Bronze (2004)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 27, 2006

Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids (permalink)

This puzzle grid contains a 9-letter word meaning "immersing again." Can you find it?  All letters in the word must touch (in any direction), and no square may be reused.

The following hints are in black text on a black background. Highlight to view.

Hint regarding word's location: The word begins in the second row.

Hint regarding first letter: The word begins with an R.

Answer: Resoaking.

There is also an 7-letter verb meaning "shuddering with fear."

Answer: Quaking.
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids . . .

December 26, 2006

The Right Word (permalink)
Check out this funny bio:

Paul Di Filippo began his career either in 1977, when his first story appeared in Unearth magazine; or in 1982, when he quit his job as a COBOL programmer to devote himself fulltime to writing; or in 1985, when his second and third stories appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Twilight Zone Magazine; or in 1995, when his first book, The Steampunk Trilogy, debuted.  Whichever date one chooses, 2006 will see the publication of his twenty-fifth book, Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct, a milestone he is very proud of.  He intends to retire now in stages over the next forty years.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

December 23, 2006

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Did you hear the one I just made up about the post office?  Everybody knows that you can send letters to Santa Claus.  But did you know that the post office also handles letters addressed to Satan?  Alas, those letters always come back, marked "Return to Cinder."
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .

December 22, 2006

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Today's posting is in honor of my caterer friend Cathi, who badly poked her thumb while preparing a client's holiday feast.


> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

December 21, 2006

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .

December 20, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Hauntings

Come on, Roberto, that’s the oldest trick in the book!  Scare off the natives by
 making them think the area’s haunted.  Stay away, or the ghosts will get you.
—Jeanette Windle, The DMZ (2004)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 19, 2006

Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary (permalink)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary . . .

December 18, 2006

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
From Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

A co-worker and I were grumbling about some irritating office phenomenon that wastes a little bit of our time every day. I estimated that it wasted an average of 5 seconds of my workday. Laughing at this tiny figure, we proceeded to explore, via a series of calculations, how this wasted time would accrue over a week, a year, a career . . . . Unfortunately, somewhere in the middle of all the multiplying and dividing, we lost track of exactly what "x" we were solving for and what our answer -- 28,571 -- actually represented. It sure seemed like a good answer, though. When another co-worker walked into the room, I promptly informed her that we had just determined that it would take 28,571 undefined units to describe a forgotten scenario. "That sounds about right," she said without missing a beat.

Literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt's plays, stories, essays, letters, parodies, wordplay, witticisms and miscellaneous tomfoolery can be found at Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0. Here you'll encounter frivolous, urbane writings about symbolic yams, pigs in bikinis, donut costumes, vacationing pikas, nonexistent movies, cross-continental peppermills, and other compelling subjects.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

December 17, 2006

Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary (permalink)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary . . .


Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
"Why?"  Because.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .

December 16, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Hand Behind the Door

“The Old Hand Behind the Door Trick
(This Is the Oldest Trick in the Book)”
—Peter Lerangis, Yikes! It’s Alive! (2003)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .


Inflationary Lyrics (permalink)
SONG: It Only Costs a Dime
ARTIST: Everly Brothers

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Why don't you ever call me
I know you've got the time
I'm always near the phone
Waiting here alone
Oh baby, it only costs a dime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Why don't you ever call me
I know you're not a courter
I'm always near the phone
Waiting here alone
Oh baby, it only costs a quarter
* Payphones used to take dimes, but now they take quarters.  Isn't it time to update song lyrics to reflect the realities of inflation?  Alas, it's vastly easier to rhyme the word "dime" than the word "quarter," but here at Inflationary Lyrics Headquarters we have risen to the challenge.  Please join the fun and share your own inflationary lyrics, with both the "before" and "after" versions!
> read more from Inflationary Lyrics . . .

December 15, 2006

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
While standing in line, I saw a young woman wearing what looked like a "Layoffs 2005" t-shirt.  I thought, "Oh, how nice; she went from denial, to anger, to acceptance, to celebration!  She went from 'fired' to 'fired-up!'"  Then I realized that her purse strap was covering up the initial "P."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

December 14, 2006

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
My problem with Xmas is that so many of the wrapped gifts have strings attached.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
Forgot the alphabet, — my language's Greek to me!
Vladimir Vysotsky, "About a Mental Clinic" (translated by Andrey Kneller)
> read more from The Right Word . . .

December 13, 2006

Inflationary Lyrics (permalink)
SONG: A Heart in New York
ARTIST: Simon and Garfunkel

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

New York, you got money on your mind
And my words won't make a dime's worth a difference,
so here's to you New York

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

New York, you built change into your charter
And my words won't make a quarter's worth a difference,
so here's to you New York
* Payphones used to take dimes, but now they take quarters.  Isn't it time to update song lyrics to reflect the realities of inflation?  Alas, it's vastly easier to rhyme the word "dime" than the word "quarter," but here at Inflationary Lyrics Headquarters we have risen to the challenge.  Please join the fun and share your own inflationary lyrics, with both the "before" and "after" versions!
> read more from Inflationary Lyrics . . .

December 12, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Guilt Gifts

If your man appears to substitute time with gifts: Guilt gifts are the oldest
 trick in the book.
—Jacqueline Powell, Someone to Catch My Drift (2003)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 11, 2006

The Right Word (permalink)
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt Begs the Question:

If bandages are sterile, where do those little Band-Aids come from?

Do Australian clocks go 'tock tick'?

When the bus doesn't stop at the bus stop, is it still a bus stop?

If the name "Mannering" is really spelled "Mainwaring", then what about the auxiliary waring?

Literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt's plays, stories, essays, letters, parodies, wordplay, witticisms and miscellaneous tomfoolery can be found at Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0. Here you'll encounter frivolous, urbane writings about symbolic yams, pigs in bikinis, donut costumes, vacationing pikas, nonexistent movies, cross-continental peppermills, and other compelling subjects.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

December 10, 2006

Pfft! (permalink)
On my right, Natasha stops eating the apple she brought from home and waves my smoke away with one big hand, making pfft pfft pfft noises as if I’m poisoning her air.  —Jean Harfenist, A Brief History of the Flood.
* The British expression "noise stroke gesture" (in American parlance, "noise slash gesture" or "noise/gesture") refers to the intriguing fact that some vocal expressions seem to call for an accompanying hand gesture.  Take, for example, Pfft!  No matter what its intended meaning, it virtually demands to be echoed in sign language.  Have you noticed a pfft hand gesture in print?  Please share!

For a variety of surprising definitions of pfft, check out my Dictionary of All-Consonant Words at OneLetterWords.com.
> read more from Pfft! . . .

December 9, 2006

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)

Why is a squid's word better than its deed?  Squids sign their deeds with erasable ink.

Why is squid graffiti so vicious?  It's the irascible ink.

Squid ink is both indelible and inedible -- or so they would have you believe!

Why did the squid's world come tumbling down?  It was juggling too much at once.

All squid police are armed.

Squid police never take fingerprints (too much work).  Instead, they take ink samples (hence the phrase "police blotter").  The ink blots also provide instant Psych Evals, which can come in very handy.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .

December 8, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Gravity

[G]ravity, the oldest trick in the book.
—Jim Murray, The Complete Guide to Whiskey (1997)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 7, 2006

The Right Word (permalink)
"All the thoughts are swirling about in a bowl of Cheerios,
spelling millions of one letter words with no punctuation to speak of ..." 
—Max, from his MySpace blog.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Did you hear the one I made up about the pragmatic Buddhist monk? 

He left nothing to chants.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .

December 6, 2006

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
"Hath not a Jew eyes?" --Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Yes, and then some.  Traditional Jewish law dictates that one take "an eye for an eye."
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .

December 5, 2006

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Evil Mixing with Good

The oldest trick in the world is for evil somehow to mix itself with good.
—Peter Attwood, Facing Antichrist Today (2005)
> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 4, 2006

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

A surreally funny line from the British comedy series Attention Scum:

"My dog has no legs but he still chews bones.  How does a dog with no legs chew bones?  With a great deal of suspicion, I noticed."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Grabbing Credit For Any Successful Attempts

It’s the oldest trick in the book—grabbing credit for the ones that work.
—Robert Littell, The Defection of A.J. Lewinter (2003)

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

December 3, 2006

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The Weekly Forecast"

They're predicting a Monday tomorrow, and they're advising that if you're travelling out of town overnight, you should be prepared for a chance of Tuesday, with a strong possibility of a Wednesday developing toward midweek.

The extended forecast calls for a weekend.

Literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt's plays, stories, essays, letters, parodies, wordplay, witticisms and miscellaneous tomfoolery can be found at Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0. Here you'll encounter frivolous, urbane writings about symbolic yams, pigs in bikinis, donut costumes, vacationing pikas, nonexistent movies, cross-continental peppermills, and other compelling subjects.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

December 2, 2006

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Robots on Fire
(anagrams: "son of orbiter," "strobe of iron," "reborn if soot," "borne of riots," "orbit for eons," "sin for reboot," "best iron roof")

A robot using himself as a cigarette lighter.

Why not light a robot candle with robot safety matches?

Moral of this story: when testing the shaving cream, take all the expensive electronics off the robot first.  (With pictures!)

The fire-breathing, airplane-tossing Robosaurus.

Christian Bale as a fiery, melting cyborg.

A two-headed fire-breathing robot bird.

Christian Ristow's robots destroy each other with fire on a regular basis.

A Subgenius robot on fire.

A flaming robot device that is lit at night.

Fire-spraying cyborgs.

Retro comic book fire-breathing robot.

Robot inferno.

Flaming humanoid robot art.

The robotic fire art of Heather Gallagher.

Sandman is an 850-lb fire shooting performance robot.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .

December 1, 2006

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .



Page of 791



Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.