Are "Top 10" or "Best of" lists ever helpful?


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Are you tired of those snippy little segments on TV magazine shows, the ones that tell you 5 things that do this or 7 foods to avoid or whatever? America loves lists. Countdown segments are a regular part of the viewing landscape. They're all on the Internet, too. Maybe it's ten celebrities who have overcome drug addiction or seven ways to save money. Lists, lists, and more lists.

I admit that I am pretty tired of those because so often they really don't tell you anything you didn't already know. A lot of the financial ones are common sense; a lot of the star-related ones have been over the news for decades. Some of the food ones may appeal. It's all rather subjective.

The truth is that we're probably all addicted to lists we see in some way. I clicked on one I saw on the Internet this morning. It was from NBC's Today Home Show hour and had a Yahoo show host talking about "7 Kitchen Items You Should Toss Right Now." Surprisingly, in about five minutes they covered those seven items in an informative way. Yes, I learned something.

There was the traditional how to tell a good egg from a bad egg (use cold water, insert egg, if egg floats, it's bad) and the common sense latte tip (after an hour in room temp, time to toss it; it has milk in it, after all), but I liked the comments about sponges and plates that most people never think about. A cracked plate means the sanitary seal is broken and washing it will not help while sponges should be tossed after two weeks.

I suppose our love for lists are okay. A quirky mixture of news and entertainment, when you learn something, it's hard to knock them.