1. Avocado, unicorns, 90’s revival anything – and now lists: we are maxed out. We have hit peak list. Numbered lists are the Lynx Africa of writing form. Speaking of which…
2. Lists are a death knell for long form journalism. And short form journalism. And blogging and good writing. And bad writing. And any type of writing.
3. They promise so much yet deliver so little. ’29 ways to absolutely definitely get the job/man/planet of your dreams.” And all you need to do is read a list. Who knew?
4. They have diminished everybody’s attention span so that now no one has have you ever wondered what your house smells like to your freinds?
5. They are everywhere. I couldn’t get into my bathroom this morning because a list was taking a shower. I heard a numbered list is headlining Bestival.
6 They are insidiously dull. I would rather cover myself in jam and dance in front of a beehive than read 10 Signs that Engineers should look for, that say it is time to change job (genuine list.)
7. They are excessive. Why do you need 83 Reasons Why Cheese is the Best Food on the Planet when 1) one would do and 2) everyone knows the correct answer is hummus.
8. Their authors run out of ideas half way through.
9. And end up padding them out.
10. With benign and repetitive points.
11. Is a bit of insight too much to ask? Some analysis? A soupçon of discussion? ‘Fake news’ thrives on brevity. (Or DOES IT?)
12. Lists are chipping away at the basic foundations of written language. Hey, does anyone remember PARAGRAPHS? I wrote a paragraph once, it was awesome. In predict they’ll be back in fashion in twenty years. Kids will be flying around virtual playgrounds on their hoverboards swapping wizard paragraphs (I predict that ‘wizard’ will also come back) and I won’t even know what they are anymore.
13. They are nothing to do with good writing and everything to do with good SEO. Number lists are made for sharing and driving up traffic, they don’t need to have any substance.
14. Unlike a compelling piece of copy, they have no beginning, middle or end. They just end.