OCD Titles

Here is an image from an advertising e-mail I got today. Sometimes I wonder about things like this.

What jumped out at me wasn't that the snacks looked good, which they don't. Or that I was drawn to the magazine cover's passive-aggressive minimalism. It was the number 27.

It's as if the editor said, We're gonna write an article about ways to snack, and when it's done we're gonna count the number of ways we wrote about it. Snaking, I mean. …Um … That will be our title. We'll put it on the cover!

And there was much rejoicing.

Why? Why does the reader care how many ways there are in the article? The title should be "Snack Smarter!" or "Tips for Smarter Snaking," or "Snack Smarter or Die." Ooo, what about, "Smarter Snacking for Better Sex"?

We see titles like his all the time.

9 Tips for defunking your hard drive
4 ways to shine shoes without getting out of bed
16 reasons not to play with fire

I can understand something like The Top 10 Ugliest Cars for 2011, or The 100 Worst US Senators. The number actually adds some meaning, or context. But I say it's time to cut back on this obsession with counting things. It's not useful information, it's it's superfluous and redundant and it uses more words without meaning anything different. Or something.

Of course, sometimes it's good to say way too much about nothing in particular. Because if you're reading a blog post like this, you're not reading the news. So I'm doing a public service.

You're welcome. 

… I got some apples today, so I'm outta here. Time for a snack.

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