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Year-End List-A-Thon 2005

In a year filled with so much of the unpredictable, it is comforting to know that our ascent into ought six will be accompanied by one inevitable constant: the unleashing of the year-end list-a-thon.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for newsmagazines. In addition to the much celebrated Person of the Year -- in this year's case, persons (!) -- Time offers an issue centered on The Year In Medicine -- in alphabetical order, no less (A is for Avian Flu) – as well as a convenient list of The Year In Buzzwords, such as "Cyber Monday," which, thanks to some clever marketing (and thanks to its place in the Year in Buzzwords) is now a fixture in the American lexicon.

And since the media never quite provides enough coverage of itself, far be it from media watchers to overlook The 10 Most Pathetic Media Meltdowns of 2005. I, for one, had forgotten all about "The Times vs. Judy Miller" debacle. And Anderson Cooper! You don't hear much about him these days. He's Media Person of the Year. While Jon Friedman looked back on a "mostly lamentable year" (because most media news is mostly lamentable when Jon Friedman is writing about it) in Media Web's 2005 awards, he took some time to thank his readership: "BEST READERS ANYWHERE - You folks." Aw.

And what of the best and worst of sports media in 2005, you ask? Sports Illustrated's 2005 Media Awards, an annual roundup of the "Best Personality" to the "Television Fight of the Year."

How about books? Not only does the New York Times offer a list of the 10 Best Books of 2005 (not to be confused with The Times' Most Notable Books of 2005) but in a stunning twist, also includes a list of Books of 2005. For more information, see The Year In Books at Slate. Or the Los Angeles Times' favorite nonfiction and fiction books of 2005. Or Time's list of Seven Great Books You May Have Missed, included in their issue of The Best Photos Of 2005.

But year-end lists can't always be restricted to what already happened this year, which is where Newsweek's Who's Next In 2006 comes in. Don't worry, they didn't abandon the model entirely. David Ansen offers a list of The Best And the Rest movies of the year.

And notably, the year hasn't actually ended yet, which means the real flood of year-enders is not even yet upon us. In the meantime, wondering if someone finally compiled a list of's most noteworthy traffic trends of 2005? Yahtzee!