Media Moves

Tech news sites quietly use this word too much

October 30, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

keep-calm-and-talk-quietly-500Tim Ellis of Geekwire writes about how tech news sites use the word “quietly” in headlines and stories to excess, often creating drama when it’s not needed.

Ellis writes, “Apparently whenever a tech company does anything without publishing a press release and running ads during Monday Night Football, tech news sites have decided that the best word to describe it is ‘quietly.’

In order to (quietly) quantify this phenomenon, I created a new Twitter account @TechNewsQuietly, and used it to retweet every tweet from ten tech news sites that described a company, group, or individual as doing something ‘quietly.’ When the same story was tweeted multiple times, I only included the first tweet. There are a few limitations to this method: Sometimes the tweet doesn’t exactly match the headline, and not every outlet has been tweeting every story for more than a few years. However, the 612 tweets that I collected data on were more than enough to perform some meaningful analysis.

“TechCrunch is far and away the heaviest user of ‘quietly’ in headlines. Averaged across the last five years, TechCrunch tweeted headlines with the word ‘quietly’ nearly twice a month. The other two top offenders were Mashable and Engadget, who both used it more than once a month. The Verge, VentureBeat, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, Recode, and Wired all managed to keep their usage to less than once a month. And yes, even GeekWire is guilty, averaging one story every other month with ‘quietly’ in the headline.”

Read more here.

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