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Which List Length of Funny Things Are You Mostly Likely to Read?

November 16, 2009

Think about this question in the context of “Top” lists, like Letterman’s Top 10 or the types of lists I post about Halloween, etc.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. John Aughey permalink
    November 16, 2009 3:17 pm

    My vote of 3 is because it is encompassed by all of the other choices. If I would read 10, I would read anything less.

    I had this same argument with my written test at the DMV. The question was, “How many feet can something extend out the back of your vehicle before you need a red flag? 10ft, 7ft, 5ft, 3ft” I, naturally, choose 3ft because if my personal limit was less than the legal limit, then I am still within the law. In fact, it’s even better. I got the answer wrong – it was the only question I got wrong – and I REALLY wanted to argue with the DMV worker, but I bit my tongue and accepted my drivers license with that one blemish.

    • November 16, 2009 3:29 pm

      Perhaps I’m not phrasing the question correctly, but in a way, I think you’ve answered: You want the shortest possible list. If you had wanted to read many many funny things, you would have chosen 10, right?

      • John Aughey permalink
        November 16, 2009 3:32 pm

        I think if I wanted to read many many funny things, I wouldn’t be satisfied with 10. 15 might tide me over. 3 is just not enough.

  2. T-Mac permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:32 am

    In my opinion, 3 things barely qualifies as a list. It seems more like the beginning of a list. It leaves me with an “OK, I’m primed and getting into this…now where are the rest?”…Like a wedding that only serves appetizers and leaves you angry that you went to the the trouble of putting on a suit and tie just for some wilted piece of asparagus with some unrecognizable cheesy cajun sauce on it. A list of 3 is no more than an appetizer. 5 is a borderline appetizer/minimum in my book.

  3. November 17, 2009 11:50 am

    So what is a topic for which 3 items is the optimal number of items? Surely there’s something out there. It seems so far that people want Top 10 lists of funny things and Top 5 lists of advice. I think 3 works for lists of things that you want to be able to remember really easily. Like my entry about conversation fodder. If I had made that list 10 different things, they’d be tough to remember. But 3 is easy.


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