I don't know about you, but when I'm browsing the Internet and I come across an article about "10 Whatevers that Whatever," I cringe and groan. Enough already. As far as I can see, a discussion of ten things only has value to people who have ten seconds or less to read it. Moreover, I've noticed most articles about ten things only have three (or fewer) ideas.
Don't get me wrong. I answered the spam email about making big money writing articles about ten things the first time I got it. I was one of the first suckers. It didn't workout for me and, as I understand it, it didn't work out for most people. I envy anyone for whom writing these articles did work out. Nevertheless, I don't want to read anymore of these "decimal dozen" articles--and I'm sure I'm not alone.
Nine "10 Articles" I"m Glad Can't be Written
I am consoled because some "10 articles" can't be written. Here's a list of nine examples:
1. "The 10 Symphonies of Beethoven." I love classical music, but the Maestro's liver gave out in time for us to avoid seeing this article, and I'm happy about it.
2. "The 10 Planets." Hooray for the International Astronomical Union! Demoting Pluto to a minor "Plutoid" planet after Eris was discovered nipped this "10 article" in the bud.
3. "The 10 Lives of a Cat." Proverbial wisdom saves us from this article.
4. "The 10 Steps Program of Alcoholics Anonymous." Ten steps won't even get you out of rehab.
5. "The 10 Nations of the Group of 10." The economic powers of the G-10 added Switzerland as an eleventh member, but retained the name Group of 10. Perhaps this was an attempt to stem the flow of shallow andvalueless articles on international economics.
6. "The 10 Day Plan for Losing 20 Pounds in a Week." No human editor would stand for this article. "Day 7: Breakfast--poached egg, dry toast, black tea; Lunch--1 cup broccoli, green tea, multivitamin; Supper--1 cup spinach, toast, one tomato. At 11:59 pm turn back all clocks in the house 72 hours."
7. "The 10 Deadly Sins." Humans beings have done thousands and perhaps millions of years of hard, creative work on this topic. Coming up with three more to add to the classic seven is impossible.
8. "10 Things to Do After You Die." We're all just living paycheck-to-paycheck and can't afford to do anything after we die.
9. "The 10 Horsemen of the Apocalypse." On the other hand, current events make me suspect Pestilence, War, Famine and Death have asked some buddies to ride with them. Perhaps this article can be written.
I'd love to hear from you, if you have an idea for another item for my list. Please post it below and label it 9.5.
An earlier version of this article appeared on Triond's Writinghood website: