OK, I lied in the title. You’ll find no list here. There simply doesn’t need to be one.
If you’re really looking for lists, there are gazillions of them out there on the Web already. You name it, there’s a list for it somewhere:
700 Habits of Highly Obsessive-Compulsive People
12 Ways to Beat Attention Deficit — Wait, What’s That?
These 4 Things Happen Right Before the Zombie Apocalypse
And on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. You can’t swing a lolcat on the internet without hitting a list of some kind. But why?
Because just about everybody likes lists. They’re fun to read. Everybody has a Top 10 something or other. Even the Walrus is not immune. I read lists with the best of ’em — Top 10 Cars of the Millennium, 10 Worst Songs of the Decade, 5 Tips for Better Drinks at the Latte Emporium, etc.
But here’s the dirty little secret to lists — from a writer’s standpoint, they’re a lazy way out. Can’t think of anything to say? Compile a list! They’re fast, easy, and make it look like you have something to say, when far too often, you have nothing to contribute to the conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, lists do have their place. I’m all for learning better ways to do things, whether it’s saving money, removing wallpaper or making a better grilled cheese sandwich. You can even expect to find a list of some kind or another here in the Cafe occasionally.
But a successful list requires more than just a simple regurgitation of collected wisdom. If you’re going to do a list, contribute something original to it. Don’t just parrot the same old tired bromides over and over again.
On that note, gotta run. I’m busy compiling a list of the top 10 reasons to dislike lists.