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

Yesterday — December 9, 2019 (permalink)

Though one might presume that the letters spell ATHLETICS, they actually spell LITHE CATS.  From Rockford's 1914 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #vintage yearbook #letters #letter head
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November 20, 2019 (permalink)

You've noticed the phenomenon: stage magic so often has an undertone of seriousness, and ritual magic[k] is so often theatrical.  Our friend Clint Marsh has dedicated his life to the misfits of magic, collecting and spearheading subtle yet wondrous wizardry for enchanting everyday life.  In honor of his remarkable Fiddler's Green zine, we rolled our alphabet dice on a haunted mirror to see what mysterious messages might come through.
#magician #magic #clint marsh #letter dice #alphabet dice
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November 13, 2019 (permalink)

"We moved through dark and desert ways."  From Manual and Diagrams to Accompany Metcalf's Grammars, 1901.
#sentence diagram #desert
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October 18, 2019 (permalink)

We're delighted by this review of our dictionary of all-consonant and all-vowel words:

I like writing with funny words. Words that every spell checker hates and people give me endless sass about. This book helps me live my dream of lifting eyebrows while also allowing me to say, "I'm not the only one who uses it."

#all-consonant words
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October 15, 2019 (permalink)

"Sparkling like a diamond beams the day-star in the skies."  From Manual and Diagrams to Accompany Metcalf's Grammars, 1901.
#sentence diagram #star #day star
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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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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.