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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.

Indubitably (?)

September 2, 2019 (permalink)

Nothing can go wrong if:

  • there are backup systems.
  • you don't get caught.
  • you do it right.
  • the eternal truths are stated loudly.
  • you figure things out carefully.
  • gold is near.
  • you keep your head and listen to me.
  • fate is on your side.
  • you don't panic.
  • you devise a strategy.
  • we all stick together.
  • you just treat X and Y as constants.
  • we operate strictly according to plan.
  • you practice what you have learned.
  • your harness is sound.
  • these people don't get elected.
  • everything goes right.
  • you just return to Paradise Island.


[Snippets collected in the course of our research.]

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August 22, 2019 (permalink)

No matter how the clown lobby protests, most all ink spills are indubitably the fault of tiny clowns.  From Swarthmore's 1927 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #pen and ink #clown #vintage yearbook #spilled ink #quill pen #ink spill #tiny clown
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August 6, 2019 (permalink)

There is comfort in …

  • having a good bed in a fireproof hotel.
  • reflecting that it might have been worse.
  • knowing we are not alone in our anonymity.
  • a mother's caress.
  • a stranger.
  • the strength of love.
  • the knowledge that evil is but temporary.
  • the perception that we are all in this chaos together.
  • using a procedure that gives definitive answers from confusing data.
  • business as usual.
  • the womb.
  • being with those with whom we have spent pleasant and meaningful days.
  • knowing the impermanence of all these conditions.
  • church light, which is star light incarnate.
  • the knowledge that the other shore has already been reached.
  • a circumscribed life.
  • numbers.
  • a hermetic, tidy account of the past, and comfort too in a measured and recognizable voice, leading us through those long ago and lost intricacies.
[Snippets encountered through the course of our research.]
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July 9, 2019 (permalink)

The only way to survive is to:

  • write and read big fat books
  • make fun of yourself
  • pretend you're not there
  • embrace the madness
  • run forward as fast as you can go
  • be merciless
  • work until the wee hours of the morning
  • set yourself in perpetual opposition to the system
  • gird your heart
  • fight back
  • become strong
  • prevent
  • join the side that's winning
  • live underground and eat worms
  • muster the aid of magic
  • laugh
  • hunker down
  • become more efficient
  • be one step ahead
  • keep moving
  • stay resilient in your suffering
  • be totally self-seeking
  • stick together
  • climb out of the ring
  • have a protest strategy from day one
  • remove the brain implant
  • actually be optimistic and make the best of everything
  • stay connected

[Snippets collected through the course of our research.]

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March 21, 2018 (permalink)

"A blow-out!  Will it be your turn next?"  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
#vintage ad #vintage headline #blowout
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September 29, 2017 (permalink)

"An imaginary flight to sun pictured by scienist."  Indubitably.  From Popular Mechanics, 1930.
#sun #vintage headline
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September 28, 2017 (permalink)

"Mountains caused by 'puffs' from inside the earth?"  Indubitably.  From Popular Mechanics, 1930.
#mountain #weird headline #vintage headline
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July 20, 2017 (permalink)

"This [indubitably] is a kow."  From The Index, 1908.
#vintage illustration #cow #drawing #kow #from memory
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April 24, 2017 (permalink)

"You're from the Otherworld.  Where such things exist.  Faeries and ogres and gnomes."  —Skylar Dorset, The Girl Who Read the Stars
Speaking of which, see How to Believe in Your Elf.
#otherworld #fairies #gnomes #ogres
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April 17, 2017 (permalink)

"The root of mouse the pointing device is indubitably mouse the rodent, and the word is based on a transparent metaphor that should allow the irregular plural to bubble up unscathed." —Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language
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January 22, 2016 (permalink)

You already know the futility of taking "coals to Newcastle," but indubitably it's Bristol that's left cleaning up all that coal spilled on the road and laybys, as we see in Picturesque Antiquities of Bristol by John Skinner Prout, 1893.

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June 24, 2015 (permalink)

"'Absurd, indubitably absurd,' he said.  'Absurd' was the word for today.  'Indubitably' was yesterday's word.  Mr. Phelps said that if you used a new word three times, it was yours." —Ernest Hebert, The Dogs of March  [If you wish to know what Friday's word was, highlight to view: .]

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June 11, 2015 (permalink)

Debate over the Bible's facticity indubitably misses the crucial question: "Is it art?"

Joedirtrules disagrees:

That’s simply not true. Examining the text (in conjunction with archeological finds) to research the origins of the Bible, and thus, subsequently asses the authenticity of it’s purported accounts, had lead to discovering the contrasting rhetoric employed by the authors–amalgamated into the old testament.  They are: J (or Yahwist), E (calling God “Elohim”), P (priestly), and D (deuteronomy). J, is characterized by the vast detail and emotion, and the fact that God speaks directly to people. While, E, writes of mediation between God’s words and the intended recipient.   Point being, it was the very admission of the Bible’s artistic aspects that was asserted in discussions of its facticity.

#bible #old testament
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November 21, 2014 (permalink)

"Indubitably?"  Adrianne repeated the word, to make sure she'd heard it correctly.  "Since when do you use words like indubitably?"
Red Like Crimson by Janice Thompson, 2012
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November 1, 2014 (permalink)

From Cognitive Science and Psychoanalysis by Kenneth Mark Colby and Robert J. Stoller, 2013.
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October 28, 2014 (permalink)

"The world is indubitably one if you look at it in one way, but as indubitably is it many, if you look at in another."
Mark Twain and Human Nature by Tom Quirk, 2013
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October 1, 2012 (permalink)

"We would pass a joint and suddenly everything about this world and our place in it seemed hilarious. Simple observations became impossibly profound. Indubitably so."*
John Grogan, The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir (2009)
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September 6, 2012 (permalink)

Can you guess the subject of this sentence?

Forever wonderful, unexplainahle, it is yet intensely, most indubitably real.
Littell's Living Age, 1853

Here's the answer in context (in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

Life is, indeed, the 'perennial standing miracle of the universe.' ... This fact if being alive is not to be denied or questioned; if all else were doubtful, this is certain—here we are! conscious living beings, with an actual destiny in the present and in the future, the issues and the mystery whereof our deepest intuitions cannot fathom.
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August 14, 2012 (permalink)

This screen shot, showing the "Tunnel of Love, Indubitably," is from the extraordinarily brilliant comedy series Arrested Development.
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August 9, 2012 (permalink)

"YOU are indubitably the most important person you will ever meet in your world, in your lifetime.  No one nor anything will ever have as much impact or influence on YOU as YOU."*
Jeanne Dolphus Cotton, Getting It Together: You, Life and Living (1995)

Photo by Matthew Allard.
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