The following is a list of titles of twelve click-bait articles that I copied and pasted from the usual internet rags, most notably Huffington Post. I didn’t have to work for this: It took about ten minutes of scanning front pages to copy and paste that magic number of twelve.
- 5 Strategies to Being Your Own Boss
- 5 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs (Really!)
- 5 TED Talks From Women Who Stood Up To The World, And Will Inspire You To Do The Same
- 6 Simple Ways To Take Your Small Talk To The Next Level
- 8 Signs You Might Become a Hoarder
- 8 Foods We’re Taking Back From The Hipsters
- 11 Controversial Books That We Totally Read Anyway
- 10 Actors Who Died During Production
- 13 Stars You Didn’t know Were Banned from SNL
- 12 Affordable Cars That Make You Look Rich, Even If You Aren’t
- 12 Mind-Blowing Documentaries To Watch On Netflix
- 15 of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns
What is the significance of the numbers? I noticed the trend to title articles like this a while back when such articles only appeared in the backwaters of BuzzFeed and Cracked.com. But now, they’re all over the damn place and are appearing at CNN and Huffington Post.
Would you not have clicked on this post if the title began “11 Reasons …”? Does it matter that 13, and not 12 stars were banned from SNL? Is fifeteen just the right number of picturesque towns in New England for an article? Fourteen would be too skimpy, and sixteen would be overkill?