Journalistic tricks - the list is endless

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Lists are the oldest trick in the book. Indeed, in The Book, the ten plagues and the ten commandments are clearly there to grab attention. People love reading lists and they remain a mainstay of magazines and newspapers. Their apogee in Britain is the tabloid press' Twenty Things You Never Knew About...

This plumbed a new low earlier this month when the Sun published "10 Great British Statistics" and "25 ways we lead the world". These included such dubious claims as: "The London Underground is the world's longest underground railway network", conveniently ignoring that it is underfunded, woefully inefficient and the most expensive in the world.

Other surreal gems included the fact that we lead the world in pain control, ballroom dancing, manufacture of fruit machines and of course, being The Sun, satellite decoders.

As a tribute to this undying journalistic trick The Independent proudly presents: Ten truly surreal lists from newspapers.

1. Ten ways to tell if you're a woman in a man's body. The Sun, 25/02/97

2. 44 things you didn't know about the number 44. The Sun, 26/08/97

3. Ten things you might not know about Minehead. The People, 20/07/95

4. Ten things a fictitious Coronation Street character would spend his lottery winnings on. The Sun, 26/01/97

5. Ten things you didn't know about Jehovah's Witnesses. The Sun, 22/02/97

6. Ten things you never loo (geddit?) about automatic toilets.

The Sun, 07/08/97

7. Ten things to know about ferrets.

The People, 14/03/93

8. Ten fins on the brainbox stars of the sea (dolphins). The Sun, 30/08/97

9. Ten things you could buy for the cost of a rail strike. The Sun, 13/08/94

10. Ten human fashions named after the animal world.

The Independent, 21/07/95