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.
April 30, 2009

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Cheesy" movies are not limited to Spaghetti Westerns.  Why not specify the type of cheese?  If the film simply stinks, it undoubtedly qualifies as a Limburger, Vieux Boulogne, or perhaps Gorgonzola.  If there are too many plot holes, call it Swiss Cheese.  If the film suffers from stiltedness, why not call it a Stilton?  Overly dry humor or wit suggests a Parmesan or Romano, while bland or insipid content might be called Buffalo Mozzarella.  A film made quickly and cheaply (even if glossily) recalls American Cheese, while overly mushy emotionality suggests Cottage Cheese.  And, of course, so-called "blue movies" would be Bleu Cheese.  Cheesy movies are often quite entertaining and good in their own way, in which case we might call them Gouda.

---

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt writes:

Jonathan likes this. [Facebook is messing with my discourse style.]
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 29, 2009

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

Impossible questions beg for ingeniously hilarious answers.
Today is the day to teach your brain to play!  We're pleased to announce the publication of our new puzzle book, Presumptive Conundrums: Rhetorical Math Questions (+ Answers).  It's been called our most surprising, thought-provoking, and laugh-inducing creation to date.  Take advantage of the introductory price at Amazon.com, or drop us an e-mail for a signed or review copy (our e-mail address is on this page).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
"They marked the course of the stream, like lamps reflecting their own light from within."
Emma Gelders Sterne, They Took Their Stand


Photo by Rune Guneriussen.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What is funnier than an outhouse?

Clue:  This is according to the author of a book on outhouses.

Answer:  Nothing.  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Roger L. Welsch, Outhouses (2003), p. 114.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From the inimitable Tom Weller, author of the classic Science Made Stupid, comes this "minim" (the perfect answer to the maxim):


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

April 28, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
"A rooster flushed before either of us had any idea it was there."
Steve Grooms, Modern Pheasant Hunting


Title page from 'La Costituzione Corrente Brevemente Considerata' by Pietro Orteschi, 1762.  Via BibliOdyssey.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody ought to write the story of the Texas towns that have died or seen better days.  There is a pathos about these modern Palmyras which often struggled to resist their fate."
Harry Yandell Benedict and John Avery Lomax, The Book of Texas, 1916, p. 243.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 27, 2009

Unicorns (permalink)
What does our notorious field guide to identifying unicorns by sound have to do with polio, the sun, cyclopses, and the nature of Mystery?  Just ask sci/tech columnist Regis Schilken.
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
My hindsight vision isn't 20/20 but rather 20/2, like the hawk.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #49:

"The only certainty is cruelty."
Stephen Gresham, The Fraternity, 2004
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

April 26, 2009

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

This coloring book contains 89 images of white things, printed on white paper. Is one to fill in these images with a white crayon? Or is one to let go of the crayon and practice the Taoist concept of wu-wei (actionless action)?
"Happiness writes white.  It does not show up on the page."
—Henry de Montherlant (1895-1972)  (via DJMisc)

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


The Right Word (permalink)
"The Whisperer.  He can leave words ... the right words ... in the air just behind him as he glides through crowds in the markets." —William Burroughs, The Western Lands
> read more from The Right Word . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 25, 2009

Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Bare reality: what a crook it sometimes is."  —Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

April 24, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley were considered for roles in Disney's remake of The Parent Trap, but they were rejected because even identical twins have some differences.  (In this morphed photo, Natalie's face is on one side, and Keira's face is on the other.  Can you tell them apart?)

Lindsay Lohan ended up starring in The Parent Trap, only to be criticized for being too one-dimensional to play two roles.  (Thanks, June!)


> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: gonorrhea or syphilis?

Clue:  This is according to cultural critic Lee Siegel

Answer:  Gonorrhea.  “Gonorrhea is funnier than syphilis, but not anywhere near as good for a laugh as crab lice.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Lee Siegel, Love and Other Games of Chance: A Novelty (2003), p. 358.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 23, 2009

Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"To be of service to somebody whom one does not know, and who has nothing to do with one, that is charming, it gives one a glimpse into divine and misty paradises." —Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

April 22, 2009

Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

I dreamed I fell in love.


(Inspired by Gary Barwin, who writes: "And soon they will join in holy matrimony...")
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Rear-wheel drive = cart-before-the-horsepower.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)


This is a page from our unfinished collection of writing prompts.  All such diagrams may be found in Professor Oddfellow's Forgotten Wisdom: Volume II.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 21, 2009

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
Today's fine line is courtesy of Fred Turner.


A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

There is a corner of the sea that is deep but not so deep that it’s black. It’s the blue of a blueberry, violet in its heart, though this blue allows light through its million unseeable pores. The hue is evenly painted but electric, a klieg light pushing through a gel of cyan. But invading this blue are clouds of inky purple, billowing clouds curling in small waves, and they grow from below, splitting the sea between light above and dark growing from below.
Turn it upside down and this was the sky above Riga.

—Dave Eggers, You Shall Know Our Velocity!, 2002

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #48:

"The only certainty we can possess is the aporia, the knowledge of the complete uncertainty, relativity, and provisionality of all knowledge."
Patrick O'Neill, The Comedy of Entropy, 1990
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

April 20, 2009

The Right Word (permalink)
> read more from The Right Word . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
In the song ""Where Your Eyes Don't Go," They Might Be Giants mention a filthy scarecrow that mocks one's every move:

Where your eyes don't go a filthy scarecrow waves its broomstick arms
And does a parody of each unconscious thing you do
When you turn around to look it's gone behind you
On its face it's wearing your confused expression
Where your eyes don't go.

Imagine our surprise to find an explanation of this filthy scarecrow in the astonishing novel Mercurius by Patrick Harpur:

I am afraid of this fashionable dilution of soul [by modern science].  We can lose it but, no matter how devoutly we wish to, we cannot destroy it.  The soul always returns to us, call it what we will, in whatever image we choose to remake it.  Our sin is to think that we can remake the soul in our own image because, make no mistake, it will return to us in the nightmare scarecrow shape of that sin.  Stifle the soul and it returns as madness; cast it out and it comes back as terror.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Can't see the forest for Belize.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 19, 2009

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
We applaud singer Deborah Harry for sidestepping one of the most tiresome, lazy, near-rhyme clichés to mar pop music.  Instead of imperfectly rhyming "girl" and "world," Harry boldly changes sex for a "boy / world" couplet:

Daybreak comes alive when I'm with you, boy.
Too late.  Can't survive without you in my world.
Falling down like rain, I hear the thunder.
I've thrown it all away to keep from going under.
—"I Can See Clearly"

(We acknowledge that "girl/world" is an echo of "mother earth," just as "man/hand" echoes the Spanish and Italian "mano," meaning "hand."  Regardless of the merits of half rhymes, "girl/world" and "man/hand" are contemptibly overused.)
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone ought to write a book on the influence of 'the undiscoverable factor' upon the course of human events."
William Bennett Munro, Personality in Politics, 1924, p. 113.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: mammals or invertebrates?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  Mammals.  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Suck School of Comic Art, Suck.com, (Nov. 7, 1997)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 18, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Climate change research: glacial profiling

[Thanks to Mike!]
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #47:

"Rebellion gives the only possibility, the only probability, the only certainty."
Queen's Quarterly, 1893
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 17, 2009

The Right Word (permalink)
Here's an all-consonant word that belongs in our dictionary of all-consonant words:

the HMMMMM theory of language: 

"What started as non-linguistic communication became singular singsong in Neanderthals and plural language and music in humans."

(via Social Fiction.)
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The existentialist costume party was an embarrassment of Nietzsches.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke—Ay! and what then?" —Coleridge, Anima Poetae, qtd. in John Livingston Lowes, The Road to Xanadu, 1927


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

April 16, 2009

Puzzles and Games :: Tic Tac Toe Story Generator (permalink)
Here's a kiss and hug (X and O, in the shorthand of love notes), by way of the One Letter Words Quiz Deck by Pomegranate.
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Tic Tac Toe Story Generator . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The hills are alive with the silence of signing
With signs they have signed for a thousand years


Collage by Spydrbyter.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 15, 2009

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

Debussy had a secret for evoking a feeling of timelessness.

SPOILER: His secret is a pentatonic melody above two alternating chords.

[Thanks to Brent Hugh.]
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

I want a lavender Cadillac
Don’t want it green or blue or black
Just a lavender Cadillac

—“I Want a Lavender Cadillac,” Maurice King & His Wolverines with Bea Baker, 1952

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Inspired by Anthony Burgess, who mentions "the ghosts of spices" in Earthly Powers.
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Only delight forgives what depravity has undertaken." —Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

April 14, 2009

The Right Word (permalink)
We were delighted to stumble upon a seemingly absurd reference to "lengthy one-letter words."  The context was newfangled electric typewriters with overly-sensitive touch-response:

the slightest droop of the wrist, spelling lengthy one-letter words: mmmmm or zzzzzzzz

Of course, lengthy one-letter words add up to another passion of ours: all-consonant and all-vowel words!  Can you guess our definitions for mmmmm and zzzzzzzz?
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Who is funnier: Milton or Shakespeare?

Clue:  This is according to a Milton scholar

Answer:  Shakespeare.  “Almost all men are less humorous than Shakespeare; but most men are more humorous than Milton.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Walter Alexander Raleigh, Milton (1900), p. 7.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 13, 2009

Colorful Allusions (permalink)

Slow as sheep they moved, tranquil, impassable, filling the passages, contemplating the fretful hurrying of those in urban shirts and collars with the large, mild inscrutabilitiy of cattle or of gods, functioning outside of time, having left time lying upon the slow and imponderable land green with corn and cotton in the yellow afternoon.

—William Faulkner, Sanctuary, 1931

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Dispossession is one-tenth of the law.

(Thanks, Mike!)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

April 12, 2009

Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 11, 2009

Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


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

April 10, 2009

Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #46:

"The only certainty consists in exploratory laparotomy."
John Blair Deaver, Surgery of the Upper Abdomen, 1908
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 9, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The successful independent publishing house prides itself on an embarrassment of niches. 
(Thanks, Mike!)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"There are no words for it, at least in our words." —Julio Cortázar, "The Idol of the Cyclades," Blow-Up and Other Stories
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
True or False: Cat’s-eye glasses are funny, but not as funny as people think.

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  True.  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Suck School of Comic Art, Suck.com, (Nov. 7, 1997)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 8, 2009

Strange Dreams (permalink)
Dreams that argue
with you
are the best kind,
Glacier or Iceberg.

William Keckler, The Guidebook for Broken Coursers
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Who hasn't been let down?  But don't think that it's a system or a culture or a state or a person that does the letting down.  It's our expectations that let us down.  It begins in the warmth of the womb and the discovery that it's cold outside.  But it's not the cold's fault that it's cold." —Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 7, 2009

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Jakob Lowenmeister writes:

I was laughing out loud at this. One gets the horrible feeling you have hit up on a karmic truth. I also love your "fine line" series. They are divinely finical. They are like logical fitness tests, but with a poet rosewater atomized over them.
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Mysteries make one dream of unendurable bewitchments, they have the fragrance of something quite, quite unspeakably beautiful.  Who knows, who knows.  Ah—"
Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

April 6, 2009

Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

by nuanc

There is a red carnation in that vase. A single flower as we sat here waiting, but now a seven- sided flower, many- petalled, red, puce, purple- shaded, stiff with silver- tinted leaves a whole flower to which every eye brings its own contribution.
Virginia Woolf, The Waves, 1931.

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .

April 5, 2009

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"The squashed, glowing, magenta sun on a flat horizon is a sight not soon forgotten."
—Philip C. Plait, Bad Astronomy


Pictured above, a magenta sun by photographer Carlo Van de Roer. See his entire "Orbs" gallery.

Did you know magenta isn't actually a color?

But don't tell that to Deutsche Telekom, who has trademarked magenta (and not without controversy.)

Racism often revolves around color, but in the Netherlands magenta "bites the hands that feed discrimination."

Little wonder magenta has a bite, as the color is named after a battle.

Photographer Carlo Van de Roer envisions a magenta orb at the seashore, like an eerie sun or diabolical beach ball.

A magenta sun makes for a romantic spacewalk.

Look for a magenta sun in the afternoon of a forest fire.

On clearer days, a magenta sun ensures a magenta rainbow.

The magenta sunset is best seen with man's best friend.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
"The fisheye lens allows for photographic expression that challenges conventional views of the world."
Four-Thirds camera lens catalog (pdf)


Photo source.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .

April 4, 2009

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"To be of service to somebody whom one does not know, and who has nothing to do with one, that is charming, it gives one a glimpse into divine and misty paradises." —Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which genitalia is funnier: male or female?

Clue:  This is according to science fiction novelist Brian Wilson Aldiss

Answer:  male.  “Male equipment looks a lot funnier than those rather pretty little purses you women have.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Brian Wilson Aldiss, Forgotten Life (1989), p. 96.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 3, 2009

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"We are all like snowflakes."
—comedian Lewis Black


Image via Social Fiction.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)


This is a page from our unfinished collection of writing prompts.  All such diagrams may be found in Professor Oddfellow's Forgotten Wisdom: Volume II.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

April 2, 2009

Something, Defined (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal the solution!

The something something something ... Suddenly, out of nowhere, Henry saw it. The first word wasn't 'the.' (From Herbie Brennan, Faerie Wars, 2007)
> read more from Something, Defined . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #45:

"The only certainty, and the only thing that matters, is that the sun once existed in the sky."
Bradley J. Stiles, Emerson's Contemporaries and Kerouac's Crowd, 2003
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

April 1, 2009

The Right Word (permalink)
The folks at The Random Forest took note of our Dictionary of All-Consonant Words, but we wonder which of the adjectives in the first sentence applies to our work.  (Or do they all?)

---

Consonant-ly suprising

On my travels trough the WWW I have come across a huge amount of useless, informative, amazing and scary sites.

But I wanted to share this one with everyone.

The Dictionary of All-Consonant Words

Just a quick browse through here threw up such gems as:

qch.
interj. a casual, cough-like utterance meaning oh.
<"How’s Andy,” he asked casually. "Qch, fine,” said the other. —Dorothy L. Sayers, The Five Red Herrings.

hgkh.
n. the sound of someone struggling not to drown in a vat of fresh cream, as in the graphic novella Hearts and Minds by Scott McCloud; see also sppt, blpb.

C-rch.
n. a judicious alien Luminoth who lies silently "in a small corridor within the depths of a high fortress,” in the video game "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.”
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
In this age of advertising, must even calligraphic ink be pitched as "refreshing" and "moist"?


Artwork by Shinichi Maruyama, via Graphic Hug.  See much bigger version here.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

He woke up the next day with a feeling of incomprehensible excitement. The April morning was bright and windy and the wooden street pavements had a violet sheen; above the street near Palace Arch an enormous red- blue- white flag swelled elastically, the sky showing through it in three different tints: mauve, indigo and pale blue.
—Vladimir Nabokov, The Defense, 1964.

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .



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