“Listicle” Is Almost a Word, Thanks to The New Yorker

September 3, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Today, someone added the word “listicle” to the open-source Merriam Webster dictionary, citing Mark O’Connell’s listicle-stylized profile of the listicle in The New Yorker as a source.

But what does it mean?

listicle: [list + article] an article presented in the form of a list of related or similar elements

The seconds flip by with such remorseless speed that it’s almost impossible to read the title of one listicle before it’s replaced by another. The result is an endless succession of half-glimpsed enticements… —MARK O’CONNELL, The New Yorker Online, August 29, 2013

O’Connell’s article explains the phenomena faked “with all the interventionist urgency and narrative propulsion that implies” it has “nothing really to do with useful information” but “still exerts an occult force on our attention.” It is “the house style of a distracted culture.” And with that, “listicle” gets one step closer to legitimacy. Oh, the irony.

But what does it mean?

Ooh, feelings, such complicated feelings that only an English major graduate currently employed in internet media or, say, Buzzfeed’s oldest employee can really understand…

Maybe I can Vine something. Can someone make me a charticle of my complicated feelings? A flash timeline with other current employees of internet media commenting on this and the Oxford Dictionaries Online’s recent addition of “bitcoin,” “hackerspace” and “TL;DR,” etc? Nah, let’s do an augmented reality map app based on an API of geotagged fluctuations in internet linguistics, expressed by pop-ups of minimalist renditions of popular emoji? How am I ever going to express my complicated feelings regarding the effects of this on the English language, journalism and life as we know it?