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.  


What Restores Your Faith In Humanity?

Oct 7, 2016

We asked you to come up with a new prompt for our Tenn Words project and you responded with a number of impressive suggestions.  From there, we narrowed down the field to ten and asked you to vote for your favorite.  

Perhaps it's a reflection of our trying times, but the clear winner was Bo Saulsbury's suggestion  "What Restores your Faith in Humanity?"

We look forward to taking the TruckBeat truck  into our community in 2017 and finding out how you would respond.  Stay tuned to 91.9 FM WUOT for more details.   

Get Ready For TruckBeat on WUOT-FM!

Nov 2, 2015

WUOT-FM has been chosen as one of only 15 public radio stations nationwide to participate in the Localore: Finding America project.  A sister to our Tenn Words project, TruckBeat will allow us to go further into our community to talk to the people and uncover the stories that make East Tennessee so interesting and unique.   

Dialogue: What Keeps You Up At Night?

Oct 29, 2015
WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

This episode of Dialogue is devoted to WUOT's  Tenn Words project.  Host Matt Shafer Powell sits down with Ragan Schriver from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work.  They'll go through some of the 650+ responses we've received to our Tenn Words  question “What keeps you up at night?”  Some are funny, some are weird and some will break your heart.  And special guest Jess Mador has some exciting developments to tell you about. 

Tenn Words Update: Does Donald Trump Keep You Up At Night?

Sep 29, 2015

GOP Presidential front-runner Donald Trump is firm in his conviction that he will win over Hispanics in America, even while his approval numbers among the country's largest minority tend to hover near  "you're kidding, right?"  Say what you want, but T

Tenn Words: "We Just Had To Let Her Go"

Sep 24, 2015

Since we began asking East Tennesseans the question "What keeps you up at night?", we've received a handful of responses that refer to the 24/7 challenges involved in taking care of others who are suffering.  

Ryan Jackson learned first-hand how difficult it can be when he dropped out of college to help take care of his ailing grandmother.   But he also learned it can be a rewarding, enriching experience.   

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?