After thirty years' worth of reading, I've come to a fateful conclusion: It's possible to determine the base contents of a literary or artistic work merely by reading its title.
I imagine that this discovery will change our way of life as we know it: Soon enough, we'll be able flip through literary collections in a heartbeat, finish poetry readings in a fraction of a second, and sleep through movie screenings that would otherwise steal a good two hours of our lives. From there, it shouldn't be a great leap towards coming up with a mutual cure for AIDS, SARS, H1N1 and all forms of cancer; generating renewable fuel resources; solving world hunger; and determining the true meaning of life as we know it.
That, or it was those baked mushrooms I had for dinner. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter, because you're getting the list whether you like it or not:
...the title of the work has a colon in it, or a number at the end — "I am part of a series that everybody has since stopped reading."
...the title is a common phrase — "My title was the first thing that came to mind after the last chapter was finished."
...the title has only one word — "My writer couldn't think of an interesting title."
...the title has five words or more — "My writer couldn't think of an interesting article."
...the title mentions a specific historical or contemporary figure — "I have absolutely nothing to do with said historical or contemporary figure."
...the title summarizes the story in its entirety — "My writer just wasted two thousand words and three hours of effort."
...the title has a typographical error — "My proofreader is checking the want ads right now."
...the title is a word that doesn't exist — "Your only motivation for reading this article is to find out what the heck the word means."
...the title has a subtitle that involves the word "God" and multiple exclamation points — "I was created by the Philippines' newest National Artist!"
...the title is "Untitled" — "Please kill me."