Top 10 Reasons Why You All Need To Stop Making "Top 10" Lists

Eric GomezAnalyst IOctober 1, 2008

It has come to my attention that most of you now fancy yourselves writers for

If it's not in a tidy list with bullets, boasting cute little punchlines (not even counting the endless Top 10 Joke articles—what is this, David Letterman Report?) you're not reading it.

I propose we shy away from abusing the format. Here's why. Don't worry, I won't make you read paragraphs. It's a list. A Top 10 list.

10) Comedy writers: You can write a funny article without recycling tired old jokes that everyone knows already.

What's the difference between a Red Sox fan and a nun? Nothing funny. You suck. Get over it.

9) We're fomenting laziness (look up "fomenting," I'm not using a synonym). By promising a reader just 10 things they'll have to read, you make it accessible, but not in a good way.

You're limiting yourself to writing 10 things, and you're limiting the reader. God forbid they would have to read more than four paragraphs.

Hell, they might even say they learneded something today. Ha-hyuk! We don't want that do we?

8) It's becoming a meme. Look, I'm not going to sit here and say we should stop writing these lists altogether, hell—I've written a few.

But it gets boring to come to b/r and see nothing but Top 10 lists on the front page.

Remember when you got Rickrolled for the first time? How hilarious and fresh it was?

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Remember when you got Rickrolled for 284th time? Not so funny.

7) It takes away from some pretty damn good articles out there. Half of the comments on these articles go like this:

about an hour ago

well uh i only liekd 1 of da 10 but that1 wuz funny lol 5 starzz potd lol"

Meanwhile, someone busts their ass for hours or days trying to get trim and edit a poignant article or get an interview and no one bats an eyelash.

6) They're clumsily titled. "The Top 10 Times I Made My Sister Laugh During A Football Game With Some Noise I Made To Describe My Excited State" Oops, a tad too long.

Better edit that into an acronym. "The Top 10 TIMSLDAFGWSNIMTDMES." Perfect.

5) They're mostly about inane topics. Really, who cares about the Top 10 jokes about a certain team? Hell, couldn't we adapt the jokes to most any team? The Top 10 Hairstyles for Baseball Players 1929-1935? Are we really reading this?

4) You're pissing off people who suffer from OCD. What if these people only read lists that end in odd numbers? What about High Fidelity? Why not a Top five list? Are you better than John Cusack? Are you?

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3) They turn B/R into a popularity contest. Sure, the community aspect of B/R is one of the things that makes it great.

However, the real reason you write these articles is because you just know you're getting 50 comments and 1,000 views—even if half of those comments are just "lol gud stuff man."

You're like that kid who decides to buy five Abercrombie & Fitch shirts or a pair of Lacoste sunglasses because that's what the cool kids wear at your school. Quit it.

(Note: If you live in Texas, you may substitute the aforementioned articles of clothing for boots and a Stetson. Alabama would be jeans and a trucker hat. And chewing tobacco.)

2) They're probably already on the site. Or somewhere on the Internet. And if they're somewhere else on the Internet, they're probably written by someone who makes money and thus is probably better at it.

Think about that when you're thinking of writing an article about the 10 Best Home Runs in World Series History (sweet, there's an idea for an article.)

1) Because I'll make fun of you for it. Oh no, you've incurred the wrath of an angry old coot on the Internet! (I'm actually 21)

Though it might not seem like something to worry much about right now, be warned:

I'm an excellent Rickroller.