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.
The Right Word

July 11, 2020 (permalink)

"Cammodudes" [usually spelled as two words] refers to camouflaged security teams protecting Area 51.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1994.
#vintage headline #area 51
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July 9, 2020 (permalink)

Two pronunciations of "row."  From Kansas State's 1907 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #owl #vintage yearbook
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July 6, 2020 (permalink)

"Hullawhaloopity" is a Googlewhack to this day.  From The Gateway, 1975.
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Only if you can decode the name of this (defunct?) New Zealand band, check out their amazing shoegaze track "Burn One" [link goes to Bandcamp].
#death #zombie #album cover
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July 4, 2020 (permalink)

"The moon's veil is both her luster and her shade."  From Manual and Diagrams to Accompany Metcalf's Grammars, 1901.
#moon #sentence diagram
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July 1, 2020 (permalink)

Though Wikipedia dates the oath "Sakes alive" from the 1930s to the 1950s, here it is in 1918.  Sakes alive, Wikipedia!  From Doctor Rabbit and Ki-yi Coyote by Thomas Hinkle, 1918.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #rabbit #squirrel #sakes alive
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I'm not sure that calling otherworldly beings "macrobes" (opposite of "microbes") ever caught on.  From Tico Times (San Jose), via UFO Newsclipping Service, 1994.
#otherworld #angel #alien #macrobes
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June 29, 2020 (permalink)

"What do you say when silent?"  From The Link, 1959.
#silence #vintage headline #unspoken
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June 27, 2020 (permalink)

We suggest "Onions over Vidalia!" to replace "I'll be a monkey's uncle!"
#ufo #onion #vintage headline
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June 26, 2020 (permalink)

You've spotted the problem with the affirmation: everything may or may not be okay ... but everything will be OK as in Oklahoma.  (Yes, we did a Google search for "Everything will be Oklahoma.")  (For 6thSensical.)
#oklahoma #okay
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June 25, 2020 (permalink)

"Love (a beautiful four letter word)."  (We noticed several less-beautiful four-letter words hidden within those letters, too.  How many can you spot?  Also, did you notice that this alphanet has two e's and two v's?)  From Bay Area Reporter, 1971.
#vintage illustration #alphabet #love
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June 23, 2020 (permalink)

The Big U says, quoting the Howie interlude from Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way":
"You are (you are, you are, you are)."
Note that the Big U may have misheard the lyrics as two one-letter words: "U, R."
The Big U is from Wid's Daily, 1919.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #letter u #wink
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June 19, 2020 (permalink)

Here's the word "semiantireprophetical" in the wild.  From "The Great Hug" by Donald Barthelme, in Folio, Jan, 1976.
#big word
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June 18, 2020 (permalink)

You've seen folks use "they" as a third person pronoun, but it turns out "they" is a second person pronoun.  "'They' is you."  From The Martlet, 1970.
#vintage headline #pronoun
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June 12, 2020 (permalink)

Not only do we like the headline, but this article about an "E" quotes a "Mrs. X."  From The Martlet, 1963.  See One-Letter Words: A Dictionary.
#letter e
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"God made not anything at all so beautiful as words." —Anna Hempstead Branch. 
From Taylor's 1963 yearbook.
#vintage yearbook #words
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June 3, 2020 (permalink)

Learning perhaps ought to quit sleeping and snoring so as to grasp how to properly pluralize "library."  From National-Louis' 1969 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #library #plural
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May 30, 2020 (permalink)

"In the wilds of fiery climes he made himself a home, and his soul drank their sunbeams."  From Manual and Diagrams to Accompany Metcalf's Grammars, 1901.
#sentence diagram
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May 29, 2020 (permalink)

"I wish something that rhymes with boat would strike me."  From Otterbein's 1911 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #poet #goat #vintage yearbook
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We use measuring tape as a bookmark so that we're always ready for big words.  From The Film Daily, 1937.  See Webster's Dictionary of Improbable Words: All-Consonant and All-Vowel Words.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #lion #dictionary #smart animal #big word
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