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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Semicolon Moons

August 3, 2018 (permalink)

An apology for tinkering with the phases of the moon so as to provide sufficiently dramatic lighting for the story.  From (the very charming, in the style of golden age British mysteries) A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley, 2011.
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July 21, 2013 (permalink)

A semicolon moon/Venus by Daniel Arndt.
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September 4, 2012 (permalink)

A semicolon moon/Venus by Ian Sterling.
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March 20, 2011 (permalink)

A Moon / Venus semicolon, captured by Greg.
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December 6, 2010 (permalink)

"In cosmic punctuation there are no periods: illusion of periods is incomplete view of colons and semi-colons."
—Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned (1919)
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November 9, 2010 (permalink)


Yet again, the semicolon's shadowy side is facing the reader. The semicolon is not visible, except in times of melting snow and great droughts. The lighted side of the semicolon faces away from the reader, as if it were asleep. 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 a snuffed match head.

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November 3, 2010 (permalink)


"The whole period of night."

—Gerald Molloy, Geology and Revelation (1870)

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October 27, 2010 (permalink)


"It looked almost like a semicolon, almost like an exclamation point, yet not altogether like either. It glowed eerily in the dim light."

—Joe Devine, Commas are Our Friends (1989)

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October 20, 2010 (permalink)


The semicolon appears to be partly but less than one-half illuminated by the reading lamp. The fraction of the semicolon's dot that is illuminated is decreasing, like a cut flower without a vase. The darkness grows like a gathering thunderstorm. This semicolon appears before the New Semicolon and after the Last Quarter Semicolon. The crescent will grow smaller and smaller every day, until the semicolon looks like the New Semicolon.

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October 13, 2010 (permalink)


"The period of moonlit and starlit nights continued."

—Ronald Mathias Lockley, Shearwaters (1942)

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October 6, 2010 (permalink)


"Space, semicolon, space."

International Standard Bibliographic Description (2007)

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September 29, 2010 (permalink)


"Eventide — An indefinite period."

—Thomas B Neely, The Illustrative Lesson Notes (1894)

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September 22, 2010 (permalink)


One-half of the semicolon appears to be illuminated by the reading lamp. The fraction of the semicolon's dot that is illuminated is decreasing, like the sound of waves during low tide. This semicolon is sometimes called Third Quarter. The left half of the semicolon appears lighted, and the right side appears dark. During the time between the Full Semicolon and the Last Quarter Semicolon, the part of the semicolon that appears lighted gets smaller and smaller every day, like a healing wound. It will continue to shrink until the New Semicolon.

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September 15, 2010 (permalink)


"The period of moonlight falls in the first part of the night."

—Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown, The Andaman Islanders (1948)

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September 8, 2010 (permalink)


"As if to punctuate the point, divine shafts of moonlight stream down."

—Mark I. Pinsky, The Gospel According to Disney (2004)

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September 1, 2010 (permalink)


"The moonlight punctuating the wave crests."

—Maxine Masterfield, Painting the Spirit of Nature (1996)

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August 25, 2010 (permalink)


The semicolon appears to be more than one-half but not fully illuminated by the reading lamp. The fraction of the semicolon's dot that is illuminated is decreasing, like the small villages in the English countryside. This semicolon appears before the Last Quarter Semicolon and before the Full Semicolon. The amount of the semicolon that we can see will grow smaller and smaller every day, like a ball of string.

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August 18, 2010 (permalink)


"You who punctuate night's fleeting hours."

—Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (2001)

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August 11, 2010 (permalink)


"There followed the period of nothing-to-do-but-wait."

—Ivan Doig, This House of Sky (1980)

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August 4, 2010 (permalink)


"A lovely beach, punctuated at low tide."

—Jack Jackson, Trekking Atlas of the World (2006)

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