So what is the magic number? No, seriously - what is it?
Maybe it's just me and maybe it's because I've been spending time on websites offering expert advice on things like writing, getting published, changing your life and losing weight, but there seems to be an extraordinarily high rate of numbered lists ricocheting all over our beloved internets.
It seems to me that experts love numbered lists. I bet it all started with an article telling writers how to write good blog copy. Picture it:
Ten Great Ways to Make Your Blog Better!
1. Use numbered lists
2. Use a number in your title
You see what I mean, right?
So here's a sampling just from my rss feed reader today:
5 Money Lessons from the Third World
Top Five Methods of Procrastination
Okay, so maybe five is today's the magic number.
Anyway, this got me to thinking - what numbered lists could I write? I'm lazy and don't want to do a lot of research so I must draw from my strengths. Let's see...
Eight Ways to Camouflage Cat Vomit Stains on Your Carpet!
This one would be super easy for me to do. I've been practicing for this one since we got Phoebe the Boy Cat back in 1990.
Three Never Fail Methods for Losing and Gaining The Same Four Pounds in One Week!
I could speak to this with authority even with one vocal cord tied behind my back. Although that title may need some polishing. There may be too many numbers....
How To Make Those Seven Deadly Sins Less Deadly in Six Easy Steps
- 3.1 Extravagance
- 3.2 Lust
- 3.3 Gluttony
- 3.4 Greed
- 3.5 Acedia
- 3.6 Despair
- 3.7 Sloth
- 3.8 Wrath
- 3.9 Envy
- 3.10 Pride
- 3.11 Vainglory
Oh and deadly sins - no matter how many there are - don't get an exclamation point. That would just seem to scream bad taste.
What else? What else?
Four Moves Any Great Lover Should Use. Every time!
Now that gets an exclamation point.
P.S. I will not divulge whether I am the great lover or if I've been on the receiving end of a great lover. Rest assured there's no knuckle involved.
Three Ways You'll Wish You'd Embarrassed Your Children
Yes, Facebook will be mentioned. Of course!
Wine and Chocolate, Porn and QVC Shopping: Twenty-three Ways to Multitask Your Vices
Okay, you see through the lie on this one, don't you? I don't have money to shop.
Stunning Simplified - Ten Tips for Rocking The Sweatpants and Flip Flop Look
I admit I don't own sweatpants anymore, but yoga pants are a useful substitute. And my memory is intact.
So what is it about numbers? Does it make the writer of the article sound more authoritative? Does it lend some some air of expertise to the information?
How is Ten Great Ways to Make Your Blog Better! more appealing than an article titled Make Your Blog Better! (question mark.) Is it the finite quality of the number? Does that make it seem more manageable?
I know one way to find an answer. I'll ask our resident numbers expert Mathman when he gets home. Goodness knows that man needs yet another reason to roll his eyes at me. It's been days since I inadvertently set anything on fire.
Meanwhile, I think I will do some "research." I'm thinking about an article entitled "Five Ways to Make Piles of Cash While Napping."
What expert advice do you have to offer? Number or don't. We're not picky. Although, anyone suggesting I don't take any wooden nickels gets a karate chop. Oh, and be sure to check out the sidebar where I've finally added links to my favorite blogs. There are new friends and old there. Go visit!