In looking at sorting algorithms I noticed something odd about merge sorts
From the Wikipedia on mergesort, it list the algorithm as such:
Conceptually, a merge sort works as follows:
1. If the list is of length 0 or 1, then it is sorted. Otherwise:
2. Divide the unsorted list into two sublists of about half the size.
3. Sort each sublist recursively by re-applying merge sort.
4. Merge the two sublists back into one sorted list
Now my question is, why go through steps 1 to 3 recursively until you're down to lists of length one? Why not just start by treating each element as a sorted list of one and start with item 4 and begin merging? Am I missing somethings for surely something so simple couldn't have been overlooked?