Ten Reasons Why I (don’t really) Love Lists

  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.
  4. Lists often suggest a false 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 in fact there is none. 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.
  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 #7 above)
  9. Finally, lists are easy to tack onto later, without worrying about anything looking like it is out of place.
  10. A list just begs you to come up with ten items. It gets you cool points when you do it.

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