Thursday, April 16, 2009

List Me Not

Honestly, I don’t like lists. And now it’s day 2 of Darren Rowse’s "31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge" and the challenge is to write a list post. I don’t hate lists. I use them for shopping, for keeping track of what I really should be doing, and to keep track of points I want to make or others do make, so I acknowledge that lists are useful.

But they are also boring…and usually ill written. Items in a list should be parallel grammatically, but so many times they are not. In years of teaching composition I read so many lists that pinged around the mine field of grammatical booby traps, hitting each one, that my patience still explodes at the sight of lists.

I’ve come across only one list I like: “A List of Nothing in Particular…” by William Least Heat-Moon (You can read it here: Least Heat-Moon’s list is grammatical (each entry begins with a noun), but it is also whimsical and keen and true, and these are the reasons I like it.

If I were to write a list about today, the best things in no particular order would be these:

1. home after four days in the hospital
2. Dale
3. sunshine
4. pink blooms
5. smiles from grandkids with runny noses, not off put by my blue mask
6. a telephone call from a very sweet friend
7. strawberry short cake
8. my cluttered desk
9. an email and pictures of Spain from Cris
10. Spanish verbs clarified (a little)
11. love (felt)

These are not nothings; like bread they are the staff of life. I’ll add that to my list: this wonderful topsy turvy puzzling enticing embracing life.

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