Top Ten Reasons I Hate Top 10 Lists

10I usually hate Top-Ten Lists created by unoriginal bloggers (or media outlets) – puking out rubbish into the trash vortex of the internet sea. The content is usually not original, or thought-provoking, and solely is written to get “clicks”. 

The goal of this blog was to obtain readers by providing informative (semi-original) content – plus I pretend to enjoy reading lengthier discussions on enlightening topics. I spend hours tediously analyzing and reviewing all of my blog topics. Whereas, producing unoriginal Top 10 Lists can be completed in the timespan of brushing my teeth.|1| 

Top 10 Architectural Phrases…
Top 10 Haircuts for Architects…
Top 10 Foods Spoiled in My Fridge…|2|

See how easy this can be?

The number 10 only appears to be a perfect number because of our Hindu-Arabic base-10 numbering system. A Top 9 list or a Top 11 list is often equivalent to a Top 10 list. If we still used the base-60 Babylonian numeral system there would be no relevance to the perfectly round Number 10 – a Top 60 list would be inconceivable. Thanks a lot Hindu−Arabic system!

I don’t want to blame the Hindu-Arabic system for also inventing the unknown lure of the Kardashians, but there is no other explanation. There is a new app called #KardBlock, which blocks all news regarding the Kardashians. It claims, “We’re tired of logging on to any site and seeing stories of the Kardashian family overshadow REAL news.” (They will also attempt to block all Justin Bieber news as well). However, I think they need to expand their scope and block all Top 10 lists – thereby eliminating every Yahoo News Article.

Consequently, I have a conflicting disposition; whereas, I despise all news that isn’t either intellectual, thought-provoking, or slightly humorous. I don’t want to “sell-out” and have this blog solely succumb to click-bait articles; yet, I love Top 10 lists and peruse Yahoo News headlines almost daily.

Ultimately, 10 is a digestible number for readers; and they are constantly aware of how much reading remains. I think if you numbered your paragraphs it would have the same effect. Thus, instead of making 10 points, I will just number my remaining paragraphs to make it convenient for you. Plus, I kind of just have meandering points instead of one really good story; but, only 10 more paragraphs to go!

1 People who want to build a following by amassing the most clicks write top 10 lists. The author typically does not have a voice nor do they provide thoughtful or inspiring content.

2 Furthermore, Top Ten lists are simple to produce. Oftentimes, once your creative energy starts flowing you can easily produce numerous ideas. If you can get to Top 7, you can effortlessly add three more ideas to reach a Top 10.

3 Or if you can only think of 5 things, it’ll become a Top 5 list.

4 By never developing a lengthy discourse, Top 10 Lists are actually easy to write and even quicker to read. Twitter-length information is great for a quick distraction, but usually results in diluted content.

5 Thus, the ordered-list format of Top 10 Lists is similar to the bullet-point format of many PowerPoint presentations. Even NASA has banned the use of PowerPoint – listing it as the key culprit in the Columbia shuttle crash. Scientists were failing to communicate complex data within the limited restraints of a bulleted list.

6 Ultimately, the title of Top Ten lures you in… Letterman has a Top 10 List. It usually has 4 daft yet mildly amusing jokes, and 6 dull witticisms. I think his writers usually pick a topic, and then start making jokes. Usually #6 is the funniest, then they run out of original jokes, and #1 is never that funny. However, if they just provided 4 to 6 jokes daily and made it Funny Joke List (instead of Top 10 list) it would have never caught on.

7 Fuck it. Disregard #2, I should’ve stopped at Top 7.

This week I was tired and had to sit down on my chair. But don’t worry – next week I will climb back up on my architectural soapbox.



Click the purple numerals to transport between hyperlinks

1 If you’re saying, “What! No way can you write down 10 things in under 2 minutes.” Well, I get distracted and usually use 2 cycles on my electric toothbrush instead of the typical one cycle; thereby having a total of 4 minutes.
2 This one probably starts with a moldy lemon my wife just found and concludes with the box of baking soda that has turned into a brick – but I am not sure if baking soda spoils, or just turns into a masonry product.


  1. Funny and ironic post!

    I do agree in most of the points, specially number 1 saying they are built to amass the most clicks. It’s an easy way to get backlinks or social shares now that social networks have become so popular. No one can discuss that.

    And when the list is original, it can be really helpful. So I guess they turn out to be a win-win situation for bloggers.

    Nice Blog, btw. Keep up the awesome work!

    • brady ernst

      Thanks ARCHeyes.
      You’re right, social media has created the proliferation of snippet content only to create more shares. Valuable content, not simply bite-sized content, should propagate.
      So thank you for publishing thoughtful architectural content – your architectural & design magazine appears promising!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *