I wrote

As another example, the existing techniques usually ignore noisy elements inside a block that is classified as content. Examples of such elements are embedded advertisements, link to related articles and short snippets or instructions inside a block.

As I checked noisy means someone who makes a lot of noise. Then I look for a word for extra or redundant elements. What are the common words and phrases?

  • Do you mean "noisy" in the context of "signal-to-noise ratio" or something that has frequent changes that do not affect the higher-level structure? If so, "noisy" is appropriate. Obviously, you do not mean "noise" in the literal senses of "unwanted sound" or "attention-getting sound". You might be using "noisy" in the figurative senses of "unwanted distraction" or "attention-getting feature that is somewhat out-of-place".
    – Jasper
    Sep 15, 2015 at 19:40
  • 1
    "Extraneous" would be appropriate for the ads and hyperlinks; "non-essential" or "irrelevant" would work for the instructions. "Noise" in data contexts usually refers to words and chunks of text that have been identified as ones that are to be ignored, as in "noise words" in full-text indexing. But I've never seen the adjectival extension of that bit of tech jargon, "noisy". It is related no doubt to signal-to-noise.
    – TimR
    Sep 15, 2015 at 20:44
  • "Extraneous" elements is pretty good. "Non-content" or "non-core" elements would be clear. "Peripheral" and "non-central" would work. "Noisy" elements definitely sounds like it should be a common term. I can't think of a perfect term that encompasses ads and instructions in this context. Maybe just "interruptions"?
    – Phil Esra
    Sep 16, 2015 at 6:20
  • "Noise" elements (below) sounds good to my ear also.
    – Phil Esra
    Sep 16, 2015 at 6:22

2 Answers 2


I've never seen 'noisy' used this way; but 'noise' is a term familiar to anyone with even a smattering of knowledge about information theory or electronics, and I knew immediately what it meant.

I think it is an admirable innovation. I urge you to keep it; and I'm going to steal it for my own use! I will enjoy telling my clients that the fluff they want me to rewrite is too noisy to be worth the effort.

If you're worried that some readers won't understand the term, you can juggle your sentence to turn your examples into a definition:

As another example, the existing techniques usually ignore 'noisy' elements inside a content block—elements like embedded advertisements, links to related articles, or snippets of instructions which provide no information of interest to your purposes.


You can call them "noise elements" (not noisy) or "ignorable content".

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