Blogging, Humor

TEN Reasons Numbered Posts Are So Yesterday

Who doesn’t love making a list then ticking it off, or as I like to do, getting out a ruler and drawing a nice, neat line right through the middle. Twice.

When did numbered lists become the Kanye of blog posts?

Numbered lists seem to be the itemized notes de jour of online media.

Everywhere you go, someone’s put together a “Reasons Why” or “How To” or “Must Have” list that features numbers. It’s like they’re saying you’re a bad person if reading 106 ways to flambé a chicken is NOT the most important thing you’ll do all day. Too much choice, like too much of anything, is harmful to your (mental) health.

I’m confused enough deciding what side to part my hair in the mornings.

I don’t need to know about the 14 ways it could make me look older.

Reasons Why Numbered Post Are So Yesterday:

A. We’ve forgotten that people have fingers.

Lots of people use their fingers to count.

Unless you’ve lost your fingers in a heavy nail-biting session because you forgot to stop nibbling, put them to good use and count as you read. If you only read articles with lists up to ten, you’ll save time for really important stuff like why wrinkles around the eyes are called laugh lines on a man but crow’s feet on a woman.

ii. Numbered lists are so arbitrary.

There are no rules.

Sure there are lots of “Top Twenty” lists and those we can handle (see why in the above paragraph then add “toes” to the formula.) But how it is possible to have “Seven Reasons Why You Must Use This Lip Gloss” and the next day read “Four Reasons Why You Must Use This Lip Gloss.

What happened in the 24 hours between the two posts? How did it go from seven to four? What happened to the other three? Maybe one of the reasons caused someone’s lips to fall off. Maybe one of the reasons ate the other two reasons. It’s all very suspicious.

Someone needs to investigate and make a list.

three-fingersWe don’t need numbered lists to tell us how to celebrate someone’s birthday. Unless it’s your child’s birthday and they are under the age of ten (review the first paragraph again) because that’s manageable. Any more and it gets exhausting.

Do you really want to spend your husband’s birthday counting down 52 ways he’s fabulous at age 52? Depending on the state of his health, he could be dead by the end. And that’s no way to celebrate a birthday.

Unless he’s rich and you’re not getting along and he’s just updated his will to write out his deadbeat kids. If that’s the case, start counting. Slowly. *grin*

Quattro. Sometimes a lot of numbers are used to cover up the one really important point.

Like “21 Ways Not To Break A Bone While Skateboarding When You’re 89.” If you’ve reached the age of 89 and are still upright and able to read an article like this, you really only need one way to not break a bone. Give your skateboard to your neighbor’s kid. The little bastard who keeps tagging the side of your garage in the shape of a giant penis.

5ive. Numbered lists have risen in direct proportion to the ability to understand how to write a numbered list title correctly.

It’s “Five Ways To Pierce Your Tongue” not “5 Ways To Pierce Your Tongue.” Perhaps this is a reflection of our crazy busy culture. We no longer have the patience to read more letters than absolutely necessary.

Hint on piercing that tongue: There’s really only one way and that’s with anesthetic and a sterilized needle. Any other way and you could faint and nail something important. Like an eyeball. Or the mailman.

6. Websites that feature scantily clad women are the worst offenders. You can’t honestly rate the “43 Sexiest Woman Ever” and be taken seriously.

Putting them in a numbered list isn’t fair.

Your number two might be my number 13 and I don’t have time to tell you why you’re wrong. Not that guys care about who’s on top. Except, okay, yes they do. But more importantly, some of the sexiest women ever are dead. But no one wants to admit it because…creepy.

Neves. Numbered lists are taking over the Internet. It’s a slap in the face to our entire alphabet.

There’s only 26 letters so maybe people think that’s not enough to list the really important things.

Like “103 Ways To Use Mayonnaise Before It Goes Bad.” You need a list like this if you’re in Costco and get seduced into thinking you’ll ever get through that big jar using the mayo on sandwiches, chicken salad, and lube at your next Swingers party.

infinity Anything other than numbered lists are forbidden on comic sites. The stupider the site, the higher the number.

Which is really counterintuitive.

If you’re using your fingers and toes to count (see paragraph one above) you can only expect to get the joke up to number 20, when you have to start over again.

Nine. Possibly it’s just a phase. A silly gimmick. Thought up by people who are looking for click rates and not a well written article.

People say if you want someone to click on your blog post, write a title with a number in it. PHISHAW! Like you’re not smart enough to come up with a compelling number-free post title on your own.

Unless maybe you need a list for that. Hmm.

One day soon, someone will submit an article called “One Way To Write A Compelling Post Title” and it will go viral and yet the world will continue to spin. Then we can all get back to writing titles that reflect the story. And put our shoes back on.

If anyone’s been keeping count, this post featured only nine reasons. I sprained the index finger on my right hand googling “Eight Never Before Seen Images Of Karl Urban’s Naked Bum.”

I said bum, not gun. Why does he still have his clothes on?

Are you a list person? What’s the last list you listed?

30 thoughts on “TEN Reasons Numbered Posts Are So Yesterday”

  1. Top Ten lists are easy, sound byte ways for people to attempt actual mockery, comedy, (and eight other things). I agree–it’s gimmicky and lame. To write a grown-up comic essay (as you have done here, bless you), requires an attention span, not to mention actual writing ability.

    I think Letterman made the Top Ten list famous, at least as far as the would-be “funny” people aspire to be. That was different, though. First off, he had brilliant writers. Also, the Top Ten list was a perfect feature for him and his show.

    The tragedy is that when I read somebody’s Top Ten list offering, I want those little nuggets as short as possible. When you’re making ten different points, the last thing I want is to slog through 400 words on each of them. Grown-up writing requires you to create an idea, then support it. If you have ten points, work them into your piece. Don’t just spotlight ten points piecemeal. It would be like serving a dinner guest flour, sugar, butter,and eggs. Sorry, but bake the damned cake yourself, then serve it. To do otherwise is lazy.

    Thank you for your astute observations. Now, here are the Top Ten reasons I enjoyed your essay…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *snort* You are spot on with your observations. To have been one of Mr. Letterman’s writers would have been a dream come true. Or writing for The Colbert Report. Truly epic sarcasm gives me a happy. Thanks for sharing. You get a gold star. Make that ten gold stars. *grin*

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Except for List of X, who totally owns this category, you’re so right. If you look at most magazine articles and blog posts, listification is a definite “thing.” I guess we the people are attracted to them for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a definite trend. I find my eyes glaze over now when I see a headline telling me I’m going to be reading yet another list. And I end up not clicking. Which could be a HUGE mistake because I might miss the 15 top ways to recycle used toilet paper rolls. *grin*


  3. 1.. I love lists
    2. Lists make a list easier to read
    3. People who teach business writing know that lists make a letter easier to read.
    4. I like your blog
    5. My cat is sleeping in front of my computer. I can’t see what I’m writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I sometimes use bullet points in a post, does that count? But as for the clickbait titles, no I don’t go there. I guess that’s why I don’t have thousands of followers and publishers beating a path to my door.


  5. Lol – loving all of the pics of Karl Urban 🙂 I enjoyed this one very much, especially the way you have ‘numbered’ your bullet points. In fact I like it so much that I’m going to link it up to another post of mine if you don’t mind – always lead with the best 🙂


  6. I feel a bit inadequate and disorganised – I never use numbers on my lists. (thought I have done it in my blog lists I’m ashamed to say. Am I a cretin?)
    I’m not listless – List – less, I have personal lists…but I don’t number them. If I number them I might find out how many things are on my To Do list or my Housework list, or my Shopping list, or my Clean out list. Ewh. That’s never fun. Actually, thinking about it, I only do numbers when it’s a list for SOMEONE ELSE to do. Maybe I just want to show them how many things they haven’t done yet. I know, I’m a bad person. :/
    Loved your post, and am a new follower. Maybe you’d like one of my favourite blog lists: how Women shower V how Men shower. Tell me if you don’t get a chuckle. 😀 Great blog. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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