A collection of top-10 lists. Are we missing your favorite? Let us know!

The 10 Greatest Trumpet Players of All Time

Cornetists too.

  1. Loius Armstrong
  2. Maurice Andre
  3. Adolph Herseth
  4. Dizzy Gillespie
  5. Maynard Ferguson
  6. Harry James
  7. Rafael Mendez
  8. Phil Smith
  9. Herbert L. Clarke
  10. Wynton Marsalis

The 10 Best Westerns of All Time

  1. Shane - George Stevens (1953) Alan Ladd, Van Heflin, Jack Palance
  2. High Noon - Fred Zinnemann (1952) Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly
  3. The Magnificent 7 - John Sturges (1960) Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen
  4. The Ox-Bow Incident - William A. Wellman (1942) Henry Fonda
  5. The Gunfighter - Henry King (1950) Gregory Peck
  6. Good, the Bad & the Ugly - Sergio Leone (1966) Eastwood, Eli Wallach
  7. Once Upon a Time in the West - Leone (1968) Bronson, Fonda, Robards
  8. Pale Rider - Clint Eastwood (1985)

Top-10 Application-Design Mistakes

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, February 19, 2008

  1. Non-Standard GUI Controls

  2. Inconsistency

  3. No Perceived Affordance

  4. No Feedback

  5. Bad Error Messages

  6. Asking for the Same Info Twice

  7. No Default Values

  8. Dumping Users into the App

  9. Not Indicating How Info Will Be Used

  10. System-Centric Features

    Top-10 Application-Design Mistakes

    The Ten Most Misused Words in the English Language

    To be more specific, we're talking about the misuse of groups of words but that would have made way too long a title. Also, this is more than a simple list. Sometimes, it works out that way:-)

    1. effect / affect

    Use "effect" primarily as a noun. In that role, “effect” often follows an article (“an effect,” “the effect”) or an adjective (“negative effect,” “positive effect”).

    An example of the former:

    Frou-frou, misjudging the effect it would have, peed freely in his master's shoe.

    and one of the latter:

    Not anticipating the negative effect it would engender, Frou-frou peed freely in his master's shoe.

    If you do use "effect" as a verb, see if it makes sense to replace it with the phrase "bring about".


    Frou-frou effected (brought about) his premature demise when he misjudged the effect of peeing in his master's shoe.


    Frou-frou effected (brought about?) everyone quite positively...except for that unfortunate shoe thing.

    That brings us to "affect" which, in general, should be used when a verb is required. So that last sentence more properly should be:

    Frou-frou affected everyone quite positively...except for that unfortunate shoe thing.

    And to wrap up, I'm hoping that the effect of all of this is crystal clarity in the effective and proper use of the word "effect" which is not to be confused with "affect". (And I mean this with greatest affection.)

    2. you're / your

    "You're" is a contraction of "you are". "Your" is a possessive pronoun. I've found it is a much more common problem to use "your" when what is meant is "you're". For example:


    If you think Frou-frou's adventure with his master's shoe went unpunished, your sadly mistaken.

    Much less wrong:

    You're quite correct in your assumption that Frou-frou's adventure with his master's shoe was severely punished.

    3. a lot / alot

    "Alot" is not a word so try not to use it a lot.

    4. they're / their / there

    It's quite common to incorrectly interchange all three. Just remember this sentence and you'll be all set:

    It came as quite a surprise to discover that they're not vacationing at their usual hideaway there in Oshkosh.

    Are we clear? ARE WE CLEAR? It's not clear? Ok, let's proceed.

    Firstly, "they're" is a contraction of "they are". Just plug it into the sentence and see if it makes sense:

    It came as quite a surprise to discover that they are not vacationing at they are usual hideaway they are in Oshkosh.

    I'm hoping like all heck you see that the first "they are" is Ok but the last two...not so much.

    Secondly, "their" is a possessive pronoun that indicates ownership. What did they own? Why, the hideaway, of course.

    Finally, "there" tells you "where". Where did they not vacation? Beautiful Oshkosh, that's where not.

    5. it's / its

    "It's" with an apostrophe is used only as a contraction of "it is". There is no such thing as a possessive it's. Therefore, the following sentence is wrong (on many levels):

    The dog happily licked it's privates quite publicly.

    6. then / than

    So then, the important thing to remember about "then" and "than" is:

    "Then" involves time:

    Back then, such things really made a difference.

    or sequence:

    After solving world peace, I then turned my attention to more important matters.

    "Than" is used for comparisons:

    It is much easier for Paul Simon than me to make the sentence "I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail" into lyrics for a best-selling song.

    But then again, sometimes "then" means "from another standpoint" or "on the other hand" like in the phrase "but then again". Don't use "than" there because then it would be incorrect. I could go on, but then again, it's not as though I have copious amounts of free time to waste on things like this.

    Well alrighty then, I think we're done.

    7. every thing / everything ... every body / everybody ... every one / everyone

    Here's the thing, when any of these are a single word, they refer to a collection of stuff, when they are two words, they refer to each item in the collection. For example:

    "Zombies Love Raymond Too", a fan club for the living dead of the hit show "Everybody Loves Raymond", recently held their annual conference at a large cemetery in Oshkosh. Everybody had a great time even though every body was missing a few parts. All in all, everything there went quite well except that every thing there seemed to have uncontrollable urges to find a mall in which to walk about aimlessly. But, in the end, everyone and I mean each and every one — agreed that it was a screaming success.

    8. to / too / two

    First of all, let's make up a word that refers to all three as a group. We'll call it "tew".

    So, what's the problem? Well, the first tew ("to") often get's mixed up with the second tew ("too"). But usually not the other way around. Don't you think so too? No? Well, to each his own. The third tew ("two") is usually pretty safe but we'll include it anyway. Let's start there.

    "Two" is a number or the second thing in a sequence. It wouldn't make any sense here:

    Let's go two the hop.

    Ok, it might make sense if "two-ing" the hop where slang for going to a dance as a couple. But, let's build that bridge when we go over it.  (btw, if you didn't know that this is from a famous rock-and-roll song of the Fifties, check out these lyrics).

    Onward..."two" makes perfect sense here:

    Ref: "How many fingers do you see?" (He holds up three.)

    Boxer: "Two."

    Ref: "Now how many?" (He holds up one.)

    Boxer: "Two."

    Ref: "He's fine, let's go."

    Next, "to" is a preposition. You probably already know — because I'm sure you clicked the link in the previous sentence — that it means to locate something in time and place. So in the phrase "Let's go to the hop", "to" locates the place where we should go, i.e., the hop. Also, as I said, it's pretty common to use the word "to" when you really mean to use "too". But, you won't do that anymore, right?

    Finally, let's dispose of "too" which can mean "besides or also" and can also mean "excessive".

    An example of the former is:

    Why should they be the only ones going to the hop? Let's go too.

    An example of the latter is:

    On the other hand, if we go it may become too crowded.

    9. Principal / Principle

    "Principal" refers to something or someone that is most important, consequential, or influential. For example:

    The principal nutritious ingredient in a soft drink is nonexistent whereas the principal ingredient in a beer is,well, the beer. Paula, the high school principal whole-heartedly agreed.

    "Principle", on the other hand, is a fundamental law or doctrine. For example:

    The fundamental principle by which Paula lived was that beer should be consumed in massive quantities; and soft drinks, while not bad, were simply unnecessary.

    I'm not trying to stand on any principles, but that seems pretty clear. However, just in case it's not, here's a final example:

    Paula Principle, the high school principal and consumer of many, many beers stood firmly on the principles of the Peter Principle and was equally firm in the belief that one should not stand on principals because that would hurt.

    10. who / which / that

    Which one is correct:

    1. This is a section that un-confuses the use of "who", "which", and "that".
    2. This is a section which un-confuses the use of "who", "which", and "that".
    3. This is a section who un-confuses the use of "who", "which", and "that".

    If you picked #3, you're way off. "Who" refers to people and this section is not a people (I'm pretty sure of it). But "who" can also refer to animals so this sentence is Ok:

    Frou-frou, who died under mysterious circumstances, now lies buried somewhere in his master's backyard.

    As an aside, this whole "who" thing has an obvious and quite annoying animate-object bias! Why can't we refer to rocks as whos? Don't they have feelings? Well, you just can't. Those are the rules.

    Anyway, if you picked #2 ("which"), you're getting warmer...warmer...but no. "Which" means the following:

    1. An interrogative that singles out one or more members of a group:

    Which one is correct?


    Which ones are correct?

    2. A synonym for whichever:

    #3 doesn't cut it no matter which way you look at it.

    3. A, and I quote, "function word to introduce a nonrestrictive relative clause and to modify a noun in that clause and to refer together with that noun to a word or word group in a preceding clause or to an entire preceding clause or sentence or longer unit of discourse". (Merriam-Webster)

    What the ?? WHO COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF??? All it means is that if you wanted to, you could change the following sentence from this:

    Frou-frou lies buried in the backyard because he was dumb enough to pee in his master's shoe.

    to this:

    Frou-frou lies buried in the backyard because peeing in his master's shoe indicated a noticeable lack of intelligence, for which he paid the ultimate price.

    (Not that you'd want to, of course.)

    Finally (and thankfully) we get to the winner, #1, a.k.a "that". "That" can mean a bunch of things, but where it gets mixed up with "which" and "who" is when it means "the person, thing, or idea indicated, mentioned, or understood from the situation". (Merriam-Webster)

    "That" has got the right stuff because it indicates the section that un-confuses.

    And that's that.


    The 10 Best Composers of All Time

    Or my personal favorites, whichever seems more likely:-)

    Here's the criteria in a nutshell: Of the composers we listen to today, whose music will still be listened to 500 years from now?

    (Lists Western composers only because that's what I know).

    1. Ludwig von Beethoven
    2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    3. Johann Sebastian Bach
    4. Franz Joseph Haydn
    5. George Frederic Handel
    6. Igor Stravinsky
    7. Johannes Brahms
    8. Gustav Mahler
    9. George Gershwin
    10. John Philip Sousa

    Of course, there're many more, but ten is ten.

    The 10 Worst Beers in the World

    According to ratebeer.com.

    1. Olde English 800 Miller Brewing Company
    2. Busch NA Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
    3. General Generic Beer Miller Brewing Company
    4. Sleeman Clear Sleeman Brewing & Malting Co. (Sapporo)
    5. ODouls Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
    6. Pabst NA Miller Brewing Company
    7. B-40 Bull Max Sleeman Brewing & Malting Co. (Sapporo)
    8. Gluek Stite Light Lager Gluek Brewing Company
    9. Steelback Tango Steelback Brewery
    10. Michelob Ultra Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.

    The World's Worst Beers

    The 10 Fastest Animals (MPH)

    1. Peregrine falcon 200.00+
    2. Cheetah 70.00
    3. Pronghorn antelope 61.00
    4. Lion 50.00
    5. Thomson's gazelle 50.00
    6. Wildebeest 50.00
    7. Quarter horse 47.50
    8. Cape hunting dog 45.00
    9. Elk 45.00
    10. Coyote 43.00

    Speed of Animals

    The Ten Greatest Songs of All Time

    According to Rolling Stone.

    1. Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan

    2. Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones

    3. Imagine, John Lennon

    4. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye

    5. Respect, Aretha Franklin

    6. Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys

    7. Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry

    8. Hey Jude, The Beatles

    9. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

    10. What'd I Say, Ray Charles

    The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004).

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