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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The Right Word

September 19, 2019 (permalink)

It is an outright lie that there are very few one-letter words and that they're rarely misspelled.  For proof, see One-Letter Words: A Dictionary.  This false quotation is from Word Juggler User's Manual, 1984.
#one-letter words
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September 12, 2019 (permalink)

However you spell it, "It's all bologny."  From Tulane's 1928 yearbook. 
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #Bologna #baloney
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September 5, 2019 (permalink)

From The Dictionary of Ugly Words, a book attributed to us.
#dictionary #ugly word
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August 21, 2019 (permalink)

"Whatsahpoobah."  From Kansas State Collegian, 1971.
#vintage illustration #monster
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The psychedelic word "physadillic" in the caption to this photo is a Googlewhack.  From the University of the South's 1968 yearbook.
#vintage photo #vintage yearbook #seeing double #double vision #psychedelic
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August 18, 2019 (permalink)

We're delighted that our Magic Words: A Dictionary is referenced in Derek Padula's astonishingly thorough exploration of the inherent secrets and "Cultural Origin of Papparapā!" in Dragon Ball Z.
#magic word #Papparapā
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August 3, 2019 (permalink)

The word is disemelevatored.  From Philip K. Dick's spectacular novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  (From which the vastly inferior films were "inspired."  The novel is a masterpiece.)
#philip k. dick #elevator #weird word
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August 2, 2019 (permalink)

Here's an entry from The Dictionary of Ugly Words, a book attributed to us.
#dog #dictionary #noose #coersion #ugly word
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July 31, 2019 (permalink)

From The Judge, 1920.
#vintage illustration #art #exclamation point #expletive #cursing #bad language
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From Jugend, 1923.
#vintage illustration #art #no means no #no #vintage man #nein
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July 27, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a headline anyone with the Dictionary of One-Letter Words can understand.  From Daily Tar Heel, 1939.
#vintage headline
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July 25, 2019 (permalink)

Yours respectively.  From National Magazine, 1903.
#vintage illustration #art #vintage fashion #quill pen #top hat #dandy #checkered
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July 23, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a great passage from William S. Burroughs (The Adding Machine) on how "coincidence" is a magic word for so-called rationalist science heroes to banish evidence of metaphysical phenomena.  Burroughs also notes a surefire way to prove that scientism deals not with logic but with faith.
#magic word #big science #metaphysics #coincidence #william s. burroughs #wishful thinking
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July 22, 2019 (permalink)

When it comes to incantations, we're delighted that our Magic Words: A Dictionary is referenced.
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July 20, 2019 (permalink)

"Stopp enviten trubbel!"  From The Judge, 1918.
#vintage illustration #art #gun #shot in the face #inviting trouble #firearm #gun accident
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July 18, 2019 (permalink)

As of this posting, the word "semblingation" is a Googlewhack (zero results).  From Florida Southern's 1911 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #devil #vintage yearbook
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Here's a 10-year spelling simpliciation plan that never happened, and the article itself applies each new rule as it is described.  From The Etownian, 1958.
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July 17, 2019 (permalink)

We're delighted that Lacey Echols called our One-Letter Words: A Dictionary "fool-proof," a "saving grace," "extremely educational, entertaining, and useful."  Here's a snippet from the article "My Visit to Grant's Tome" (Word Ways), in which our dictionary is put to the test:
I wanted to find all one-letter, two-letter, three-letter, etc. words in any given word.  There was one problem.  Even though I have a fairly large vocabulary, I do not know many words which are one-letter words.  Ask me to identify three- and four-letter words, and I am at ease.  One letter?  The only common single letter words are 'a' and 'I'!  However, I was fortunate to hear about a book which could be my saving grace, One-Letter Words: A Dictionary, by Craig Conley.  I felt my confidence begin to soar because with the help of this dictionary I should easily be able to count all one-letter words in any given word, or could I?  Being a bit of a skeptic, I tested my skill with the word 'ait.'  'I' and 'a' are legitimate, but what about 't'?  Sure enough, Mr. Conley provides 58 instances in which 't' is used as a word.  As an example, 'it suits you to a T' uses 't' as a word.  Hallelujah!  But 'ait' is a fairly simple word.  What about 'Mozambique'?  I feel a time-consuming project ahead.  Actually, the dictionary is fool-proof.  There are thirty-five examples using the word 'z' and even twenty-seven examples of the word 'q'. ... I found [Conley's dictionary and Jeff Grant's Concise Dictionary of 2 Letter Words] to be extremely educational, entertaining, and useful for a novice word counter.  Maybe if I never let anyone use these books, I will be able to win all games which include identifying actual words in any given word.
#one-letter words
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July 16, 2019 (permalink)

It's now politically incorrect to call foreign languages "strange tongues."  We once studied strange tongues but didn't keep in practice (we weren't friends with enough strangers), so now we're better at reading strangely than speaking strangely.  From North Central's 1986 yearbook.
Do you already know the secrets of Fluency in 5 Minutes?
#vintage photo #vintage yearbook #smiling man #strange tongues #foreign languages #political correctness
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July 10, 2019 (permalink)

“Perhaps it is time we stopped pretending that medical-sounding labels contribute anything to our understanding of the complex causes of human distress or of what kind of help we need when distressed.” —Professor John Read, qtd. in "Study: Psychiatric Diagnoses Are ‘Scientifically Meaningless’ In Treating Mental Health"
#mental illness #big science #psychiatry
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