I came across this term recently and because it sounded like something tasty, I looked it up. Kind of like “popsicle”, it had to be good, right?
Nope, it’s got nothing to do with food, and everything about the lazy tendencies we have developed as readers and consumers of modern media. Who has time to read long-winded articles about how to keep one’s cholesterol low, or what the best way is to plant a rosebush. No one has time anymore; we are bombarded with information from all manner of sources and those of us who like to read, don’t know where to stop and where to begin anymore!
Worse still, is the fact that we seem to have suspended our critical faculties, and sometimes our ability to accept information even if it is illogical. Why bother to think? Someone else can do it!
Apparently the word “listicle” has been around for about a decade. Well, pardon me, I didn’t know. I am old school, used to writing in longhand using – dare I say it – cursive; then later on a regular typewriter, then an electric one, progressing to a computer (yes the old-fashioned ones that took up the whole desk) and now I use a laptop, or an iPad mini, or even a phone. These days, everyone is a specialist, and we all have something to say, to teach, to announce or to disparage. Making a list is easy and effective and saves the reader time.
Hence the “listicle”. It is a trend in journalism that really lends itself to the new wave of writers and media options who want to import information or share an idea without slaving for hours over the correct grammar, tone or lexicon. So, make a list, add a quick introductory blurb, and to take it a tad further, use a slide deck with minimal verbiage and hey presto, you have created a listicle, a combination of ‘article” and “list”. So clever, these young people. So lazy. And sometimes, so darn trivial…