Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, August 4, 2014

the most annoying thing you'll read today

Funny, the little things that annoy a person. For example: when someone tweets a link and prefaces it with “The best thing you’ll read today.” Well, first of all, bub, what makes you think I’ll read it at all? Just because you link to it? I don't think so. But second, even if I do read it, how do you know what else I might be reading today? If I’m in the middle of Anna Karenina, do you really think that this blog post about Edward Snowden or Beyoncé or Gary Shteyngart is going to be better than that?

I’m exaggerating my annoyance just for fun. But still, what underlies the “best thing you’ll read today” meme is the genuine if unconscious expectation that we’re all just reading stuff published in the past 48 hours. When someone says that article X or blog post Y is the best thing I’ll read today, what they really mean is that it’s the best thing that they found this morning on Flipboard or in their RSS feed or on Tumblr. It’s the best thing that just now showed up. Which is not the best thing simpliciter.

Just saying. 


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