The Organized Mom

Audience Markers


Sarah Kimmel is the author and her intended audience is married women with children. Some posts seem more directed to specifically stay at home moms (What to you do to stay a Happy Homemaker? Do any of the above work for you?) She speaks to her audience directly, using lots of "you's". She keeps the posts casual, informal and informational. All of these examples signal to the audience that they are being addressed; that they should pay attention.


Referring to the Audience

The blog was constructed to provide helpful information to moms who want to become organized, so every post is chock-full of you's.

What do I use electric timers for you ask?

The Christmas tree of course!

-Your Christmas house lights.
-Television, if you want to set the time your kiddos are allotted.

What else can you think of?

Questions and Directives

This is FULL of both questions and directives. SHe seems to answer her own questions with directives. The audience is the intended receptor of these directives- she is directing the audience to follow what she says to do in her posts.

Enacting conversational interaction:

She seems to be talking directly to her audience here, with free indirect speech. She says what she thinks her audience's response will be.

Flouts of Implicature:

quality, relation, manner, clarity:
"Go through your Stuff and consider if it’s really earning its keep. Are you really willing to pay its rent? Then when you shop for your family, loved ones (and yourself) this Christmas season, think about the “real” price it’s going to cost you, and them. Ask yourself: is it worth it? Try thinking outside the mall. Go for things like tickets to the water park, movies or museum. Make a gift certificate for a family trip to the beach, mountain or camp ground. Invest in life long memories and not just more Stuff."- Flout of clarity
This post implies that you are literally paying rent for some possession and asks if it is worth it to you.

"Outlook, my new, old best friend"
- flout of relation. Outlook is not really her best friend, it is computer software. new, old best friend is an oxymoron.


In this context the author is talking about "having enough stuff". This statement is polite because of the use of the word please, but also i feel that it is softening a threat. She is daring her audience to stop being materialistic and this suggestion is actually more of a command. The threat implied could be of worry to someone who does not want to stop being materialistic.
Flout of manner.

Expectations and Knowledge:

The author uses these references because her intended audience will understand the difference between a "pretty, pretty princess" and a marine biologist. The intended audience of the author will understand what a "nest" on the closet floor is. Her intended audience, the one that she cares about and wants to reach, is looking for organizational advice. So she assumes that when she says she is getting "creative" with flip flops that the audience will understand that she meant it in an organizational sense. Her audience should feel similarly about shoes making the happy.
Here she is assuming that her audience knows what Outlook is and also why angels would be singing when she was able to use it again.

With this exercise, you're looking first for occurrences - the use of markers overall - and then for patterning: some regularities in the use of markers or the use of a particular market. These may be

When markers are used:

Throughout posts, but especially when she is explaining how to do things.

Particular markers that are used regularly:

She uses pronouns- addressing the general 'you' that is her audience through her instructional posts. Also, there are tons of questions and directives. She likes to answer her own question with a directive for the audience.

Markers that are used in particular ways:

Pronouns are almost always used to address the general 'you', which the audience is aware of. The pronoun is used to make the audience member feel included in what is going on.
The expectations and knowledge marker is prevalent through basically every post I examined. She needs her audience to understand her language of mom-metaphors in order to follow her and BE a part of her audience. If her readers did not understand any references she makes they would have no reason to be there; nothing would make sense.

>Keep this in mind as you work: Myers suggests that audience markers are used to make readers feel like they are being addressed directly, spoken to, included in a group, or involved in the blog or project. There may be other uses. There probably are other uses. There is certainly other things to say about how bloggers include and address audiences.

>First, you want to get an overall sense of how the blogger is using audience markers, so map the territory. Try reorganizing the occurrences you find into groups (use of pronouns, references to audience, etc) so you can better see the patterns and variations. Or try highlighting them. Or perhaps catalogue the markers you identify.

>Once you have a map defined, write a couple of paragraphs interpreting the use of the patterns overall.

>Then focus on the use of one type of marker that seems to be prevalent or interesting: flouts, for instance. Or interesting ways that the blogger uses expectations and knowledge. For this, alternate examples with interpretive comments, until a pattern starts to become visible.

Author uses expectations and knowledge the most in my opinion. She expects her audience to understand every reference that she makes, such as pretty princess vs marine biologist. And shoes as the meaning of happiness.

Again, once you identify some regularities, draft a couple of paragraphs interpreting what you've discovered.

Focus on blogs rather than the comments, code the blog posts for the more obvious indications first, then for implicature and politeness. The latter two may be pretty common, so locate what seem to be examples typical of the particular blog you're looking at.

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