Tenn Words

If asked to answer that question in ten words or less, how would you respond?

"My cancer coming back"

"Losing my job"

"Someone hurting my kids"

"My daughter's employment status"

Since 2015, the Tenn Words display and the TruckBeat  truck have been traveling throughout East Tennessee to find out what's on your mind.  

Your answers to that question have been collected and cataloged.  With more than 750 responses, we've been able to identify trends and outliers, giving us a clearer picture of what concerns us as a community.    If you'd like to see some of them, check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds.   

Scroll down to read some of our observations.  


Tenn Words update: ¿Qué es lo que te desvela por la noche?

Sep 23, 2015

We're excited to launch our Spanish-language version of WUOT's Tenn Words project this Sunday September 27 at the Hola Festival in downtown Knoxville.  If you're in the area to enjoy the food and music, please stop by and say "hola" and fill out one of the Tenn Words forms (there will be English-language forms available too).

Tenn Words Update: Nine Words Too Many

Aug 11, 2015

 WUOT's Tenn Words project asks East Tennesseans to answer the following question in ten words or less:  "What keeps you up at night?"

While some of our 500+ responses include the maximum allowable verbiage (ten words) and others go well beyond the limit (Express Lane Cheaters Unite!), the number of words on a handful of responses fall somewhere between zero and two.  

Tenn Words Update: Bedtime Stories

Jul 21, 2015

Since the middle of May, we've been asking folks from all around East Tennessee to answer the question "What keeps you up at night?" in ten words or fewer.  

With approximately 650 responses so far, we've begun combing through the responses and identifying and exploring some interesting trends and ideas.   

Tenn Words Update: Getting Personal

Jun 18, 2015

  In the month since we launched WUOT's Tenn Words project, we've received more than 400 responses to the question "What keeps you up at night?".

WUOT's Brittany Crocker has spent a great deal of time loading those responses into a spreadsheet, assigning various "topic" tags to each response and combing through the results so that we can identify any trends that might arise. 

Tenn Words Update: So What Do You Mean, Exactly?

Jun 7, 2015

  As a journalist, one of my favorite questions has always been "What keeps you up at night?"  When posed to someone in a position of power, the answer can humanize the experience of governing, while exposing specific concerns that may still need our attention.

Beyond that, someone's honest answer to that question can open a discussion about either our shared concerns as a society or those issues and fears that make each of us unique.

But what, exactly, does the question mean?