Strange & Unusual Dictionaries: Select a Book to Read Online About the Author
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
From Our Abecedarian Blog . . .

Today — November 21, 2019

This May Surprise You (permalink)

The phrase "Humpty Dumpty's beard" is a Googlewhack.
Illustration from The Lewis Carroll Society of North America's Knight Letter, 2008.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The George Washington Ghost, 1927.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Princess White Flame by Gertrude Crownfield, 1920.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Facing the future without fear."  From Awake magazine, 1958.
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
From Mansfield's 1933 yearbook.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1924.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Beacon Third Reader by James Hiram Fassett and illustrated by Charles Copeland, 1914.  See How to Believe in Your Elf.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The eccentric, critical, changeful, intelligent hand."  We like how the caption doesn't say this is the hand of a person who is eccentric, critical, changeful, and intelligent, but rather that the hand itself is all of those things.  Therefore, the illustration is transformed into a talisman, akin to the Hand of Fatima.  From New Discoveries in Palmistry by Joseph Bryant Hargett, 1901.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Nebelspalter, 1884.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Journal Amusant, 1876.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1907.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1920.
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Book of Whispers (permalink)

No doubt you've heard of Ireland, too.  It really is such an open secret.  From The Open Secret of Ireland by Tom Kettle, 1912.

But even as recently as 1981, Ireland was under wraps, as it were.  "There isn't anything beyond Wales — only a lot of sea" (the "Roots" Christmas special of Are You Being Served?)

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Journal Amusant, 1905.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 1900.
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
From Swarthmore's 1960 yearbook.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Europa's Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs and illustrated by John Batten, 1916. 
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1847.
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Someone should write a book on Boundary Setting for Open Secrets.
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Is Today The Day? (permalink)
21
November 2019

“Today is the day for a change in the market’s weather.”

—Bo Yoder, Mastering Futures Trading, 2004

From the outrageous to the inspirational to the hilarious, here’s a daily reminder to break out of the old grind and do something unexpected, for the fun, the challenge, or the heck of it.

If today simply isn’t your day, click here to have a different day.


Music Box Moment (permalink)
Do you deserve a nostalgic breather?  Through the delicate workings of the music box, even the most dramatic compositions seem to play only for you.  You’ll hear even a very familiar piece in a whole new way.  Courtesy of home recording pioneer Ken Clinger, here’s today’s music box selection.  It will sound surprisingly good even through built-in computer speakers, and it will cut through the ambient noise of the office without being distracting.

Featured in Today’s Music Box:
Symphony 3 - movement #3 (excerpt) (Beethoven)
performed by Ken Clinger
If you could use another Music Box Moment, choose a piece:


There’s a Signpost Up Ahead (permalink)
One's life path is marked by crossroads and signposts.  If you are confronted with making a choice today, perhaps the signpost displayed here will help to characterize your situation and guide you to make a decision.  If you need more guidance, refresh this page for another symbol.  If both signs are the same, perhaps any choice will lead to the same outcome.

The signs are inspired by a system of symbols entitled "Spiritual Diagnosis," developed by Dr. Robert McNary of Montana.  Dr. McNary actually creates nine-faceted mandala charts for people and interprets the symbols with uncanny accuracy.  Dr. McNary's web site is RockyMountainAstrologer.com.
> view a larger version of your signpost . . .
Yesterday — November 20, 2019

The Right Word (permalink)
You've noticed the phenomenon: stage magic so often has an undertone of seriousness, and ritual magic[k] is so often theatrical.  Our friend Clint Marsh has dedicated his life to the misfits of magic, collecting and spearheading subtle yet wondrous wizardry for enchanting everyday life.  In honor of his remarkable Fiddler's Green zine, we rolled our alphabet dice on a haunted mirror to see what mysterious messages might come through.
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Copyright © 2019 Craig Conley