The allure of a list

  • People like reading lists.
  • This phenomenon might be explained somewhere.
  • I have never read any such explanation.
  • I have a few ideas of my own:
    • Nested lists keep things tidy.
    • It’s easier to keep your place.
    • Bullets are aesthetically pleasing.
    • Lists are linear, evoking a garden path.
    • Paragraphs are parallel-linear, evoking mowing a lawn.
  • My ideas could be more or less valuable than yours.
  • Value is the most relative of all concepts.
  • It would not be hard to list some examples.
  • I’ll leave that to your imagination.
  • I was writing about why lists are better than paragraphs.
  • Now I will continue.
    • Lists can be numbered. For example:
      1. This list.
      2. Directions.
      3. Recipes.
      4. Rankings.
      5. One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock.
      6. There is no item 6.
  • Where was I?
  • Oh, yes: spouting praise for lists.
  • Perhaps paragraphs aren’t such a good idea.
  • What if every sentence was a list item?
  • I think that would be bad for novels.
  • (That reminds me, I should read a novel.)
  • Have I made my point?

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