We have many top-ten lists. Top ten things you can do at the shopping mall. Number One is, “Show people your driver’s license and demand to know ‘whether they’ve seen this man.’”
I saw a list of top ten phobias. Number three on the list was chorophobia, the fear of dancing.
The American Film Institute lists top ten films in categories. Animation: “Snow White” is on the top of the list. Romantic Comedies: “City Lights” (1931) is on the top of the list. Sci-fi: “2001: A Space Odyssey” is on the top of this list. I didn’t like it when I saw it then, but I was in Israel in 1969, the middle of the movie had 20-minutes of silence (I thought the silence was interminable) and the Israelis shouted to the projector, “Turn up the sound.”
A book entitled The Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists, by James Frater, has a chapter that includes 10 tips to commit perfect crimes, 10 prison survival tips, and 10 tips for outrunning the cops. In contrast, the book has a chapter including 10 people who saved Jews during World War II.
David Letterman was famous for espousing top ten lists, every night. They included the Top 10 Papers Written by Brooke Shields at Princeton, and the Top 10 Ways Las Vegas is Better than Paris.
The New York Times printed the freshman track results of the Metropolitan Conference on November 4, 1966. They listed ten places, the tenth place was timed at 16:10. The first ten runners got a medal. I finished eleventh, one second behind the tenth place. I could not go faster.
By the way, in the 60s, the college football and college basketball polls were limited to ten teams. I don’t know when the polls expanded to 25 teams. The Ten Commandments were not diluted to 25 Commandments.