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.
July 31, 2009

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


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


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... . . .

July 30, 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 . . .


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 . . .

July 29, 2009

The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


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... . . .

July 28, 2009

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 ... . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which Henry James novel is funnier: The Bostonians or The Princess Casamassima?

Clue:  This is according to the introduction to The Bostonians (Penguin Classics edition)

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

Citation:  Henry James, The Bostonians (2000), p. viii.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

July 27, 2009

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


Inspired by William Keckler.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Religion decays, the icon remains." —Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters
> 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... . . .

July 26, 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 . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody should write a book about all the different lovers who have walked along Sunnyside Beach at midnight."
David Donnell, Water Street Days, 1989, p. 32.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

July 25, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #62:

"The only certainty is that if you do not put in the work, you will have no impact."
Willard C. Richan, Beyond Altruism, 1987
> 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... . . .

July 24, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
An atheist at the end of an impromptu dinner table prayer: "Ahem."
> 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 . . .

July 23, 2009

Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: the tricks memory plays on the mind, or Penn and Teller?

Clue:  This is according to actor Eddie Fisher.

Answer:  Penn and Teller.  “The memory sometimes plays funny tricks on the mind, not as funny as Penn and Teller, but more realistic.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Eddie Fisher, Been There, Done That: An Autobiography (2000), p. 393.
(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... . . .

July 22, 2009

The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


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 . . .


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 . . .

July 21, 2009

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 . . .


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... . . .

July 20, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Get a mime talking and he'll bend your ear till you're white in the face.


 
Gary Barwin shares:

My son was asking my criminal lawyer wife if, when a mime is arrested, they have to do the Miranda Warning  "You have the right to remain silent..." Should it be, "You have the right to remain motionless..."?
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Some one ought to write a book entitled The Anonymous in Life, though it would assuredly take many volumes to tell the story of the wonders wrought by unknown, unnamed pilgrims of the past."
Joseph Fort Newton, Short Talks on Masonry, 1928, p. 142.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

July 19, 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)


Simon Nervosa writes:

Generally, I find myself playing tennis on these visual poems of yours (against myself) and running back and forth (back and froth?) that I might bandy, lob and volley against the possibility that I truly belong on one or the other side.

However, with this one there is no doubt.

I stand on the bottom court, and there is NO court advantage whatsoever.
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

July 18, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which are funnier: pickles or relish?

Clue:  This is according to Jack C. Horn.

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

Citation:  Julius Nicholas Hook, All Those Wonderful Names (1991), p. 317
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

July 17, 2009

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... . . .

July 16, 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 . . .


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 . . .

July 15, 2009

Annotated Ellipses (permalink)
Gary Barwin illuminates the delightful concept of "ellipsis juggling":

Ellipsis juggling, the most difficult trick in the repertoire.  A juggling of what’s not there, what’s lost, left out, erased, or forgotten.  And the juggler must keep each of the three elements perfectly in line with a ground that he cannot see, like black holes precisely aligned in empty space and yet parallel with the curved horizon of a distant earth.


> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .


The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


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... . . .

July 14, 2009

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody ought to write a book on the Lost Arts in America."
Wallace Nutting, New Hampshire Beautiful, 1937, p. 159.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


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 . . .

July 13, 2009

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)


Gary Barwin adds:

... & then as summer school.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What city is funnier: Madrid or Barcelona?

Clue:  This is according to literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

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

Citation:  Personal correspondence, July 31, 2007.
(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... . . .

July 12, 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 #61:

"Indeed, the only certainty is that technology will become more powerful."
Edwin H. McConkey, Human Genetics, 1993
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

July 11, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


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... . . .

July 10, 2009

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
From our Magic Words outpost at Blogger:

"He began to think that even though magic, and science, and religion did not all mean the same thing, they all meant in the same way." —John Crowley, The Solitudes
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The naïve question often proves to be the central one."  —Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10.5 Chapters
> 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 . . .

July 9, 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... . . .

July 8, 2009

The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
True or False: There is “nothing more hilarious than a bunch of mental patients bowling.”

Clue:  This is according to a poet

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

Citation:  Gavin Dillard, Between the Cracks: The Daedalus Anthology of Kinky Verse (1997), p. 305
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

July 7, 2009

The Only Certainty (permalink)
Certainty #60:

"The only certainty is that writing takes the form of language."
Nicholas Pagan, Rethinking Literary Biography, 1993
> 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... . . .

July 6, 2009

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone ought to write a book someday on the tasks restless women have invented to occupy their time."
Emily Newell Blair, Bridging Two Eras, 1999, p. 96.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


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 . . .

July 5, 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... . . .

July 4, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


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 . . .

July 3, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
From the gem-encrusted quip drawer of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

Q. Why isn't that diminutive pastry chef still employed at the corner bakery?

A. Because of the high turnover.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life: the voluble Frenchman or the flying cow?

Clue:  This is according to a study of Arthurian legends depicted in the cinema

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

Citation:  Kevin J. Jarty, Cinema Arthuriana (2002), p. 140.
(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... . . .

July 2, 2009

Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Do you see the story embedded in this playground Tic Tac Toe game?  Hint: decode it with our X-O Skeleton Story Generator.


> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


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 . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


---

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt quips:

That lowercase ampersand in the bottom right corner has the patting-itself-on-the-back thing down ... pat.
* 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 . . .

July 1, 2009

The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


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... . . .



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