According to chapter 3 in the Gamble text, feminine genderlect is used to maintain a relationship or connect with another person. Women tend to use less absolute phrases in speech and use language to show their support and understanding for the person they are addressing (Gamble, p. 75).  In American Idol, Paula Abdul always portrays this use of feminine genderlect by always finding a nice way to critique the performer. She always says something positive in order to maintain positive relationships with the contestants and to show her support for their dreams.  Also, she always apologizes if she does say something negative, exemplifying the idea of no absolutisms. Randy and Simon rarely apologize for their negative comments and seem to ignore the emotions of the contestants. Their critiques use common features of masculine genderlect that contrasts with Paula’s style. Paula definitely uses “rapport talk” and Simon/Randy definitely use “report talk” (p. 77). The video posted below definitely highlights Paula’s use of feminine genderlect, however Randy does use some non-absoulute phrases, which contradicts pure masculine genderlect.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.