Disagreements and Agreements in Personal/Diary Blogs: A Closer Look at Responsiveness

Brook Woodward Ruthven Bolander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, I focus on responsiveness in 185 disagreements and 219 agreements in the comments sections of eight personal/diary blogs. Since the message format of personal/diary blogs is such that responsiveness is not signalled by the system, interlocutors need to make manifest to whom a disagreement or agreement is directed. Bloggers and readers are likely to make use of a variety of means of signaling responsiveness, such as naming, format tying (Muntigl and Turnbull, 1998) and quoting. The are not likely to rely extensively on quoting, as they might in modes in which quoting constitutes a built-in technological property. My analysis of disagreements and agreements highlights that while responsiveness is integral to agreements and disagreements, it does not have to be made explicit in personal/diary blog interactions. I argue that explicitness appears to be associated with the participation framework of blogs, such that there is a greater need to signal responsiveness explicitly when readers address other readers, but a smaller need to signal responsiveness explicitly when readers address bloggers. The paper thus demonstrates how particular social (participation framework) and medium factors (message format and quoting) (Herring, 2007) are tied with the linguistic realisation of disagreements and agreements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1622
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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