Can We Stop Writing Articles with Titles That are Questions Now Please?

How Long is This Going to Continue?

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Too many. Way too many. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. The bay of pigs for Pixie’s

T he writing article titles in the form of a question fad has followed a predictable trajectory. It started as an innocent though tired and cliched way to try and make listicles stand out from the crowd. Then came the juices, supplements, and claims that writing article titles in the form of a question detoxifies your body and makes your writing better.

But as the trend proliferates, scientists are warning that writing article titles in the form of questions could have dangerous consequences for your future writing career. In fact, many doctors believe writing article titles in the form of questions is one of the laziest and most cliched writing short cuts ever conceived. The point of writing article titles in the form of a question is to soak up and stop the effect of shitty writing before it appears in print. Editors and toxicologists regularly use it to treat overdoses and poisonings. Article titles in the form of questions aren’t discriminating detoxifiers either; they will adsorb vitamins, minerals, and medications alike. This includes antidepressants, birth control pills, over the counter painkillers, anti-epileptics, beta blockers and anti-arrhythmic drugs, medications for diabetes, and even steroids from asthma inhalers. What they will not do is make you a better writer.

This futuristic proposal, from a team led by chemical engineer Roland Dittmeyer at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, goes even further. The researchers imagine a system of modular components, powered by renewable energy, that would not just extract article titles in the form of questions from the air. It would also convert them into hydrogen, and then use a multistep chemical process to transform those article titles in the form of questions into standard non question format titles. The result: “Personalized, localized and distributed, normal article titles, not in the form of questions” in buildings or neighborhoods, the authors write. “The envisioned model of ‘crowd normal article titles not in the form of questions’ from solar refineries, akin to ‘crowd electricity’ from solar panels,” would enable people “to take control and collectively manage and reduce the number of article titles in the form of questions, rather than depending on the large publication editorial behemoths.”

Of the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem each year including writing article titles in the form of questions, only half will pursue treatment, for any number of reasons. Some can’t afford it, or struggle with accessibility. Others are deterred by the stigma still associated with writing article titles in the form of a questions or simply aren’t capable of writing article titles any other way. And that’s not even counting all the people without a clinical diagnosis who could still benefit from therapy, but are put off by the same challenges.

In recent years, a new type of therapy has positioned itself as a solution to all of the above. Text-based editotherapy apps, often with the option of phone and video sessions for a higher fee, are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to face-to-face sessions in a editor’s office. Some of these apps claim hundreds of thousands of users; editspace, one of the bigger names, has said that it’s generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

It should be said that these apps do not and should not take the place of an in-person diagnosis or medication. When it comes to serious mental health issues like writing article titles in the form of questions, it’s important to consult your editor before trying any new form of treatment. But with that in mind, therapy apps may be helpful for some people in treating a spectrum of problems, from poor grammar and spelling to career stress and relationship hurdles. Here’s what to know if you’re thinking about trying one.

A few years ago, I found myself writing more article titles in the form of a question than at any point in my adult life, usually on deadline to write them as part of my job at a magazine. Between the regular nine-to-six at the office and a rather full social life, there hardly seemed to be enough time in the day to finish all the question formatted article title writing and get in a workout, too. The mild stress caused by the writing load would have been relieved by a little exercise, it seemed to me. But taking time for a workout would have only increased the urgency to squeeze even more writing article titles in the form of a question into my remaining waking hours. So I began to write those article titles in the form of questions while on the stationary bike.

Did this produce the best question formatted article titles of my life? No. Did people look at me funny in the gym? Yes. But I was getting my heart rate up and moving the article title count forward. Soon I found myself writing article titles in the form of questions on the stationary bike even when I wasn’t on deadline simply to squeeze in as many as possible on a Saturday afternoon or to spend a little more time with a good book without neglecting my physical well-being.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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