The 73 blogs… dare I mention listicles?

A friend and I drifted into a challenge to write 73 different types of blog from an article we read about blogging… Article… a word ending in ‘icle‘… I tried to find the origin of this suffix, ‘-icle‘, and it comes from Latin, and usually means a small part of something as in particle, of course.

The reason I have deviated to find out about ‘-icle‘ is that one of the 73 suggestions for blogs is ‘Listicles’ – which I had never come across at all. I guessed maybe it meant lists, and yes it does, so why listicles?  Listicle is a portmanteau word from ‘list article‘; I investigated and found that a listicle is something which appears in a blog or in an article which itself revolves round the list. Usually the list is numbered, and often the article is headlined with such titles as ‘25 things you never knew about...’ or ‘17 foods you should never eat if… ‘ or ‘The world’s 25 most…‘. I confess that I’ve looked at some of these (without realising they were listicles) usually because I have thought they might be interesting or relevant; however it seems to me, and I don’t want to be rude about anyone who has written these things or who reads them, most of them seem ‘off the top of your head’ style of journalism; a few Wikipedia researched facts, fluffed up with a few generalisations and a lot more totally random things which seem to be totally imagined by the writer. For a list of the world’s most famous/beautiful/ /interesting/ healthy/happy whatevers I get the feeling that they are whatever or whoever the writer likes best or least! There are other listicles which are photos, probably just trawled off Google images, of the wackiest/weirdest/ugliest people or places or homes or occupations or fashions or dogs…

There is an excellent listicle here by Steven Poole:

People like lists, that’s for sure, and having read about them now, I find I am guilty of including listicles – or lists as I prefer to call them in some of my blogs here.  A list can be a way of writing a blog or article from nothing very much – I guess students doing homework love them because you can fill a whole page, and they look neat and important! A list can be a lazy way of writing too – not much to say? Include a list!

The original article about 73 blogs says this about listicles: ‘Who doesn’t love lists right? List articles are always among the most shared on the internet. You can create a list of just about anything.’

I guess I had better include a list… so here is a list of the books on the ‘language’ shelf of one of my bookshelves:

  • The Rough Guide to Iceland
  • Complete Icelandic and –
  • – Complete Icelandic  CDs
  • Teach Yourself Icelandic
  • The Little Book of Icelanders – Alda Sigmundsdóttir
  • New Junior Latin Course
  • Teach Yourself Ukrainian
  • The Good Jewish Home – Emily Haft Bloom
  • Chineasy – flashcards – Shaolan
  • Pocket Guide to Iceland
  • Westfjords of Iceland
  • North Iceland – the Official Tourist Guide
  • Langenscheidt Universal Dutch Dicitonry
  • The Dhammapada – The Sayings of the Buddha
  • Spell It Out – David Crystal
  • A User-Friendly Dictionary of Old English
  • A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse – Richard Hamer
  • Wordcraft – New English to Old English Dictionary and Thesaurus – S. Pollington
  • Living French – T.W. Knight
  • Harrap’s French Grammar revision Mille et un Points – Neil Creighton
  • Forgotten Places of the North Coast –  J.D.C. Marshall
  • Dalraida – A Guide Around the Celtic Kingdom –  J.D.C. Marshall
  • Heath’s Modern French Grammar
  • English-Irish Dictionary – Tomás de Bhaldraithe
  • So You Want To Write – Lois Elsden
  • The Geology and Fossils of Bracklesham and Selsey – David Bone
  • Bognor’s Rocks – David Bone
  • Man-o’-War Rhymes – Burt Franklin Jenness
  • The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

I mentioned the Wikipedia article – it is very interesting:


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