If you know me at all you know I love me a good list so are you confused at my beef with bullet points? I get it. And my blog agrees.
However, I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph (or even ye olde complete sentence) in favour of…bullet points. Listicles if you will.
My Beef with Bullet Points
I complained about this on Twitter once, to which I received an immediate response from a blogger simply saying (I don’t know the tone but I’m going to go with a bit defensive) it’s because no one reads blogs anymore. They scan.
Fair enough. I scan most blogs, it’s true. However. If it’s excellent writing, I stick around and read. So please for the love of God write complete sentences. And paragraphs.
Actually, though, lists are an excellent tool and knowing how to use them properly is a great skill. But this little blogging trend to use bullets instead of paragraphs is not actually utilizing the list function of said bullet points. It’s merely demonstrating laziness.
For, what I’m noticing is rambling points, which could have easily been turned into paragraphs but weren’t cause, you know, “I’m busy.”
We’re all busy
Unless you’re writing a list, write your paragraphs and don’t shortchange your readers.
And if you want a quick rundown on how to format a list properly, go to Grammar Girl. She’s the best.
Here’s a brief excerpt
Experts have raised valid concerns that people overuse lists in PowerPoint presentations and for presenting complex information, but the scant attention to lists in most style guides has always baffled me because you can hardly open a Web page, marketing brochure, or user manual without walking smack into a list. Marketing experts and web designers know that most people visually scan these kinds of simple or instructional documents instead of reading every word, and that lists improve a scanner’s ability to remember key points.
To be honest this is kind of an academic article about lists. I was hoping for more opinions about when to use a bullet list and when to write a complete sentence.