1. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    Having numbers in titles

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by marcusl, Nov 14, 2009.

    My boss told me something interesting yesterday:

    "According to research, people tend to remember brand names that include numbers."

    So, for example, Webhost4Life, etc. Of course, brand names and book titles aren't the same thing, but I wonder if the same psychology could apply? Then again, I can't think of many novel titles that includes numbers. Maybe this is a silly question.

    I just wanted to share this information anyway. Thanks.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    First book that comes to mind is Fahrenheit 451. I can't immediately think of any other books with numbers in their titles, so I would say that in the case of books, it is the opposite of what it is in marketing.
     
  3. hoodwinked
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    hoodwinked Member

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    The only book I can think of with numbers in the title is 1849? Well... I'm not sure what the title is. It's just a date, and a classic. Oh! 1814? Er... maybe not. I'll go look it up... never mind. Can't find it.

    I'd say the numbers don't matter... unless it adds to the catchy-ness.
     
  4. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Catch 22.

    I'd say that it's possible, but it doesn't happen as much in books. Mostly, I HATE the whole 4lyfe thing. It's like Xtreem Kool Letterz. They may be rememberable, but they're also more mocked.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could apply, but why do it unless the title is right for the story?
     
  6. Fox Favinger
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    Fox Favinger Contributing Member

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    They are great for shortening domain names. They are easier to type and remember, example my site host, 1and1. That is so easy to remember and faster to type than oneandone. I've seen domain names that have taken up the entire sides of small trucks and I say, "what were they thinking?"

    After hearing someone argue this numbers make sense for sequels. I was going to have a planned sequel named like this, The Book: This is the Second Part, but this looks cooler, The Book II: This is the Second Part. It makes a serioes easier to keep track of. One of my favorite games is Mortal Kombat 2. It just sounds cooler and I know it's the second game in the series. Mortal Kombat 5, 6, 7, and 8 didn't have numbers in their names and I have to think for a second about their order. Luckily it seems the designers realized this and the next game is going to be cooled Mortal Kombat 9 (I hope)
     
  7. ManOfSteel
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    ManOfSteel Member

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    George Orwell's 1984? Although its cover title is usually written in letters ("Nineteen Eighty-Four").
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    So that's why it's the greatest book of all times.

    I'll name my first publishing 1-2-3
     
  9. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Funny, your comment made me try to remember Pynchon's CRYING OF LOT 49, which I haven't yet finished reading; and I couldn't for the life of me remember what the number was (I thought maybe 13).

    1984 is the simplest one (for me) to remember, but maybe that's because I read it when 1984 seemed still a long way off into the future, and many participants here weren't even born then! FARHENHEIT 451, of course, and Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5, A HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE (Marquez), and Jules Verne's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA are a few of others that come to mind, although I don't know if it's the numbers or numerals that really are key. It's an interesting observation, although I don't really think it's the title that lingers so much (either because of the numbers or otherwise) as it is the great story that gets tied to it that'll make for a memorable title.
     
  10. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Iiiiiiin 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip'. We took a little bacon and we took a little beans and we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

    Chorus: We fired our guns and the British kept a' comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they began to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexicooooo.


    :D
     
  11. Fedora
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    Fedora Active Member

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    It's an interesting question. That being said, if 1984 was named The Dreadful Life and Times of Winston Smith, I would still have enjoyed it. Numbers may make a book's title more memorable, but they don't make the book itself any better or worse. Besides, there are more than enough ways to make a title memorable without putting a number in it.
     
  12. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    1984 and catch 22 are the main ones that spring to mind, although hi do own se7en which is an adaptation of said screenplay (cheating admittedly) but I agree, the books title isn’t as important as what’s in it, and like they say you can’t judge a book by its cover (false I know I have found some good books from the cover alone) I think the research was probably done on ten year old children who only know how to write using numbers and text speech.
     

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