Ten Reasons Why I (Don't Really) Love Lists.

The reasons to love a list are inordinate. Aside from all that, though:

  1. With a list, you can quickly fill up the page without having to actually write very much. It's kind of like using a really big typeface to get out of writing a long book report.
  2. Similarly, when a list is all you write, who needs to revise! Publishing a list is like publishing an outline. It's so easy; anyone can be a writer now!
  3. A series of lists invites the reader to scan the page, skipping around, picking and choosing, getting disoriented and finally arriving at an incomplete idea, so in a way, the list makes it all easier to understand.
  4. Lists often suggest the wrong priority of ideas. This is actually the most important point on my list, but I put it third because these are listed in the order that they came to mind.
  5. Lists often suggest a priority of ideas, when there could be none at all. In such cases, a paragraph would do nicely, if it weren't for point 1 above.
  6. Nested lists! Why bother to explain a complex relationship?
    1. They're also fun to read.
    2. They make it so much easier to understand what's going on.
      1. The fun never stops.
      2. I could do this all day:
        1. Nested-nested-nested lists
        2. Oh yeah.
  7. Lists invite little design arguments over whether to use bullets, boxes, circles, numbers or, my personal favorite, hiragana characters. Should we indent the lists?
  8. Lists of paragraphs are better than a regular old series of paragraphs, because with a list of paragraphs you get to have more fun with the design (see above). But what is a list of paragraphs, really? If you like, you could read any document with multiple paragraphs as a list: one paragraph, another, and so on... Could it be that all writing is list-making? Is a poem a list of lines? Should we go back and number all the texts in all the documents? Or, would they be bullets? Which bullets? There's a whole list of typographical characters you could use to mark the items in a list. How far down the nested list would you have to go before you could use the Double Dagger? Look how cool it is: ‡. I digress.
  9. Finally, lists are easy to tack onto later. Nothing seems out of place that way.
  10. A list just begs you to come up with ten items. It gets you cool points when you do it.
  11. This list goes up to 11.