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.
April 30, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Thanks to the Presurfer and Daily Fix blogs for showcasing our interactive Breathing Circle.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Apparently, cutting out the faces of ex-boyfriends dates back to the mid-1600s.  (Actually, this an intermediate plate from when Cromwell's head was replaced with Charles I's.  See the before and after of Pierre Lombart's engraving here.)


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“When your boat comes in, the rapture will begin!” —Elsie Kendall


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .

April 29, 2010

It's Really Happening (permalink)
This collage refers to new evidence of "mirror matter" that fills the universe.  The foreground photo is from the wrongfully-canceled comedy series Arrested Development.


> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Over at an English tutorial website, we're delighted to see our rainbow bookcase illustrating this sentence: "I need to sort out my books."


See a larger version of this photo at flickr.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

April 28, 2010

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

Click the image for a four-square breathing tool.
While geometers continue to puzzle over "squaring the circle," Prof. Oddfellow has circled the square with an interactive mandala for four-square breathing.  Tackle stress, anxiety, or panic attacks.  Click the image to load the page.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WAXING CRESCENT (PROGRESSIVE)

"How long can this punctuated phase be maintained?"

—Aat Brakel, People and Organizations Interacting


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

April 27, 2010

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: Why can't we see peels of thunder?

A: Because they're the same color as the sky. —Jeff Hawkins


> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Lloyd Wright's mountaintop memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

April 26, 2010

Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody should write a book on how to walk and not dislocate joints."
The Western Druggist, Vol. X, 1888, p. 182.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

April 25, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
"If the right word doesn't come to you, leave a blank."
The Little, Brown Handbook, 1995


Photo by wellurban.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

April 24, 2010

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


Inspired by this piece by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


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 . . .

April 23, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


“I will come on board when your boat arrives.” —Office of Naval Records

 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: moist or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

Clue:  This is according to a book on gender differences entitled I’m With Stupid

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

Citation:  Gene Weingarten and Gina Barreca, I’m With Stupid (2004), p. 171
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 22, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The woodlands at Portmeirion, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

April 21, 2010

Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WAXING CRESCENT (FUTURE)

"A tiny rounding crescent turns into a semicolon."

—Eva Müller-Zettelmann, Theory Into Poetry (2005)


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Descanso Gardens, La Cañada, California
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

April 20, 2010

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

Sinead wallpaper via.
One derogatory term for glam rock is "hair band."  Yet all bands are "hair bands."  Even buzz-cut Sinead O'Connor was a hair band, for "Thesis and antithesis are inseparable, like an object and its shadow" (Pavel Aleksandrovich Florenskiĭ, The Pillar and the Ground of the Truth, 1997).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There is need that somebody should write a book for grown folks entitled 'How They Are Making a Baby of Him.'"
Sunday Afternoon, Vol. 3, 1879, p. 283.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

April 19, 2010

Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


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 18, 2010

Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: Tears or laughter?

Clue:  This is according to the book Love and Other Games of Chance

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

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

April 17, 2010

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 . . .

April 16, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“When this dredging is done, your ship will come here.” —Subcommittee on Rivers and Harbors


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The Campanile at Portmeirion, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

April 15, 2010

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
I was thrown into some sort of strange loop while watching the Pet Shop Boys "Pandemonium" concert.  Neil Tennant was lip-synching a duet with Dusty Springfield.  The dearly departed Springfield appeared in the form of a massive projection.  Not only was she not present (except in spirit), but she was lip-synching, too, as her filmed footage wasn't of a live performance.  There was Neil Tennant, "pausing" his lip-synched stanza to make sonic space for the projection of a deceased woman to lip-synch her own pre-recorded chorus.  I was left . . . well . . . speechless.


> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

April 14, 2010

Semicolon Moons (permalink)

NEW

The semicolon's inky side is facing the reader. The semicolon is not visible, except during thick clouds of ignorance which eclipse literature. The illuminated side of the semicolon faces away from the reader, like a moody child. This means that the reading lamp, reader, and semicolon are almost in a straight line, with the semicolon in between the reading lamp and the reader. The semicolon that we see looks very dark, like holes in the face of a mask.


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

April 13, 2010

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


Inspired by and dedicated to literary rapscallion Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.
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, 2010

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody ought to write a book tracing in detail the workings of an aristocratic landowning tradition in present-day English social life."
John Boynton Priestley, The World of J. B. Priestly, 1967, p. 188.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Who is funnier: Karl Marx or the Marx Brothers?

Clue:  This is according to James Agate

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

Citation:  James Agate, A Shorter Ego: The Autobiography of James Agate (1945), p. 202
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 11, 2010

Staring at the Sun (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow dons 3D glasses to witness the wonders of three D's.


 
June writes:

Devilishly delightful and delicious!

Gordon writes:

Wow! The moment of illumination, captured. And dig those crazy glasses.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Peace Symbols to Color (permalink)
> read more from Peace Symbols to Color . . .

April 10, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"It is we who are the measure of what is strange and miraculous: If we sought a universal measure the strange and miraculous would not occur and all things would be equal."
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


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 . . .

April 9, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
Thanks to the New Straits Times for recommending our One-Letter Words: A Dictionary and noting that it features "More than 1,000 surprising — and revealing — definitions of each singular letter in the English alphabet; everything from 'a per se' to 'a hypothetical explosive.'"
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


“I have been enjoying the view, watching your ship come in.” —Mary Ellen Evans

 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The woodlands of the Portmeirion peninsula, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

April 8, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: satiric or non-committal humor?

Clue:  This is according to a scholar of Henry Fielding

Answer:  non-committal humor  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  John Hames Peereboom, Fielding Practice (1984), p. 36.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 7, 2010

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

Gary Barwin suggests that death's favorite punctuation mark is the exclamation point: "the jot, a single moment, its long black robe fluttering behind."

We suggest that death's second favorite is the question mark.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

by ~Dezz~

His eyes were an improbably vivid sky blue, not made for looking outward but for steeping themselves in the cerulean essence of dreams.

—Bruno Schulz, “The Republic of Dreams”, The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories, 1934; translated by Celina Wieniewska.

* 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 6, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)

Photo by Eva the Weaver of a Takashi Naraha sculpture.
Is There an "X" in "Especially"?

(our guest post for The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar)

Jeff Stone is perfectly correct in colorfully noting that "there's no freakin' X in the word 'especially.'"  Yet we can't help fondly remembering those centuries when the word "expecial" meant "singular" or "exceptional," as in the context of accessories designed "to meet the expecial needs of the physician" (Brooklyn Medical Journal, Vol. 8, 1894) or European colonists in the Potomac being advised not to expose themselves to the danger of the Tuscarora War of 1711 "without expecial necessity" (James Rice, Nature and History in the Potomac Country, 2009). 

Our favorite context for the word "expecial" is, of course, the world of algebra!  Back in 1919, a textbook entitled First Course in Algebra embodied "an expecial effort to connect the elements of algebra in a clear and forcible manner with the affairs of every-day life."  If any field is qualified to put an X in "especially," it's algebra!
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Uncharted Territories (permalink)


Photo by rickyli99.

See also our whimsical atlas of blank maps.
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .

April 5, 2010

Inflationary Lyrics (permalink)

SONG: Invisible
ARTIST: Alison Moyet

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

You don't have the time
and you won't spend a dime
not even to call me

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

You seek to estrange
and can't find the change
You give me no 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 . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There should be a book about the river, about the grasses and weeds, the flowers of the banks."
The Fiddlehead, 1945, p. 117.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

April 4, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
"Any word can be the right word, if used in the right place."
X. J. Kennedy, An Introduction to Poetry
> read more from The Right Word . . .

April 3, 2010

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The Portmeirion estuary, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


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 . . .

April 2, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
"Your ship will come in, eventually.” —Car and Driver


Jonathan Caws-Elwitt comments:

"Your car will come in, inevitably." —Ship and Pilot
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which number is funnier: four or five?

Clue:  This is according to the book Drawing on the Funny Side of the Brain

Answer:  Five, as "odd numbers are always funnier.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Christopher Hart, Drawing on the Funny Side of the Brain (1998), p. 107
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

April 1, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"you must swear that you will never more play for money." —"On Chess," The Saturday Magazine, 1841
> read more from On One Condition . . .



Page of 777



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