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.
Nonsense Dept.

February 11, 2020 (permalink)

"A bit of nonsense now and then."  From St. Joseph's 1922 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #jester #vintage yearbook #marotte #nonsense
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September 3, 2019 (permalink)

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men."  From 1907, via Ephemera Obscura.
#clown #vintage postcard #nonsense
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July 27, 2019 (permalink)

"The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature.  I don't suppose you would believe me if I told you I head that nonsense at ..."  From an ad for a fast-food restaurant, in the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#vintage ad #chess
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May 4, 2019 (permalink)

From St. Joseph's 1924 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #jester #vintage yearbook #rabbit #nonsense
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October 1, 2018 (permalink)

The oracle that spouted nonense, from Krylov's Fables, 1869.
#vintage illustration #fable #oracle #krylov #krilof
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September 8, 2018 (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt shares this bit from a piece called “What Does It Mean?” in which Benchley pokes fun at overanalytical attempts to Aread serious meanings into humorous writing:

"Why monkey around with Nonsense? It can stand well enough on its own feet."

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March 5, 2018 (permalink)

"I once attended a convention of vaudevillians and nightclub performers.... It was nonsense atop nonsense. Though the members constantly referred to Roberts' Rules of Order, they seldom followed or even understood them. If a member got the floor by claiming a point of privilege--whatever that meant--another actor-member, well aware of theatrical billing precedence, would call for special privilege, and another would claim extra special privilege." --Bill Smith, The Vaudevillians

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September 28, 2017 (permalink)

"She said, 'Nonsense.'"  From The Strand, 1908.
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September 6, 2017 (permalink)

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June 27, 2017 (permalink)

"Nonsensia."  From The Scarlet Letter yearbook (Rutgers, 1918).
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #nonsense
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June 21, 2017 (permalink)

"The boy who could talk nonsense."  From The Laughing Prince by Parker Fillmore and illustrated by Jay Van Everen, 1921.

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May 7, 2017 (permalink)

The importance of nonsense, from the Davenport Daily Republican, Feb. 17, 1901.  (Via Yesterday's Print.)
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April 13, 2017 (permalink)

From The Scarlet Letter yearbook (Rutgers, 1915).
#vintage illustration #jester #vintage yearbook #nonsense
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March 13, 2017 (permalink)

"Alec Osborne is a dear friend who can speak nonsense like a drunken parrot."
—Catriona McPherson, A Deadly Measure of Brimstone (via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt)

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March 10, 2017 (permalink)

"The body is said to have only five senses, but the greatest sense of all is omitted.  Nonsense!"  From The Harvard Lampoon, 1921.
#harvard lampoon #nonsense
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March 8, 2017 (permalink)

A Defence of Nonsense by G. K. Chesterton, 1911.
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January 26, 2017 (permalink)

From The Scarlet Letter yearbook (Rutgers, 1912).
#vintage illustration #jester #vintage yearbook #nonsense
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January 12, 2017 (permalink)

Talking through his hat.  From Die Bühne, 1925.
#vintage illustration #hat
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January 11, 2017 (permalink)

Jonathan reports: "In a novel from 1930 [The French Powder Mystery], Ellery Queen (the author and, as it happens, the character) mentions a book on a shelf: Nonsense Anthology, by A. I. Throckmorton. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious nonsense anthology!"

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October 5, 2016 (permalink)

The context of this still from the spoof mystery series 33 Minute Detective (33分探偵is that a murder victim typed out his killer's name in his dying moments, but the detective, in order to comedically stretch out an obvious case to fill up the show's half-hour time slot, posits that the keyboard was set to romaji (the Romanized transliteration of Japanese), so that the actual hiragana word was nonsense.
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