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 OneLetterWords.com.
On my right, Natasha stops eating the apple she brought from home and
waves my smoke away with one big hand, making pfft pfft pfft noises as
if I’m poisoning her air. —Jean Harfenist, A Brief History of the Flood.
* The British expression "noise stroke gesture" (in American parlance, "noise slash gesture" or "noise/gesture") refers to the intriguing fact
that some vocal expressions seem to call for an accompanying hand
gesture. Take, for example, Pfft! No matter what its intended meaning, it virtually demands to be echoed in sign language. Have you noticed a pfft hand gesture in print? Please share!
For a variety of surprising definitions of pfft, check out my Dictionary of All-Consonant Words at OneLetterWords.com.