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WICKED WORDS

To see how cutthroat Silicon Valley can be, look to its job descriptions

Finding a way to regulate Silicon Valley.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • Dave Gershgorn
By Dave Gershgorn

Artificial intelligence reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Would you want to work at a company that uses the word “maniacal” for a job?

An analysis by language analytics platform Textio gives a glimpse into the cultures at large technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google, by pulling the most common words from 25,060 of their advertised job descriptions.

The words “wickedly” and “maniacal” are used more at Amazon than any other company, 33 and 11 times as often respectively compared to the next company that used those words. While this might seem bleak, the context does matter a bit. Often Amazon wants its employees to have a “maniacal focus on consistency” or “maniacal customer obsession.”

At Facebook, the most-used words are “our family,” as well as “ruthlessly,” and “storytelling.” The most alarming word, “ruthlessly,” is often used in job postings in relation to prioritizing.

And Twitter? The most-used word is “nerd.”

That being said, there are two caveats. If Amazon used the word “wickedly” 33 times more than the next company, which either never used it or used it once, that’s pretty small in the scope of the thousands of jobs Amazon creates each year. Also, some of these companies, like Apple, are Textio clients.

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