Research Journal and Assignment 3

Research this week has been going well. We’ve been in contact with both Nawab and Mongolian Buffet. For Nawab, we were told that the manager will be in on Tuesday, so that will be the best time to contact him. With Mongolian we made a bit more progress – the manager was at the premises during the phone call and seemed interested in talking to us. We just e-mailed him a more detailed look at what the WDP is and we’ll hopefully be conducting the interview later this week (hopefully, in person).
In other research I’ve stumbled upon a blog called “Storyline – Citizen Journalists at William and Mary”. In it, I found a post about the latest “Restaurant Week” that occurred earlier this year. While not specifically written about student restaurant preferences, it offers a couple valuable insights. Apparently RW occurs as a deal in which you can get a 3-course meal at many of Williamsburg’s local restaurants (Blue Talon, Fat Canary) for the price of $20.09. The manager of the Blue Talon estimates that about 20% of business during that week comes from students. Students sampled apparently were not that interested in the deal – it seemed too steep for this current economy.
Another article I found was from the Virginia Informer. In it, they compare five chinese restaurants (from a student’s perspective). Mongolian buffet was number one – they cited the variety and quality as the biggest pulls to the restaurant. However, price was a point of contention. Interestingly enough, he lists two other buffets that were less than half the price of Mongolian (Golden Leaf and Happy Buffet) that had extremely quality of food as well. I wondered why these restaurants weren’t well known – obviously, there is something more than price that is attracting students to Mongolian…

Assignment 3

The reflection and revision process has been fairly shocking. Whilst I’ve reviewed transcripts many times in other classes, I have never reviewed a transcript of my own voice. I’m feeling a mix of shock, embarrassment and downright wonder about the things that I’ve seen after finishing reviewing the last page.
First of all is the sheer number of disfluencies that I used in my responses to questions – I said “um” for basically half of the interview to start my sentences. Compounding that is the high usage of the word “like” in my speech; I am appalled that I sound so unprofessional. I knew that I used these two previous words a fair amount, but never to this extent – I’m kind of dreading the job interview process now given these habits in my speech.
After a bit of poking around on the web, however, I came upon an interesting article that shows the meanings (or, the meanings that the listeners hear) regarding these breaks in speech. There is some evidence that “um” is simply a short pause indicator – studies show that using this marker increases the attention level of a listener. “Uh”, on the other hand, is considered to be a long pause indicator – this has been shown to create a negative response in the listener of one’s speech (perhaps due to unpreparedness or dishonesty). So, I suppose that my usage of ‘um’ isn’t that bad (or may I’ll just go to any length to defend my awful speech, heh).
The usage of “like” is a different matter – its usage can be marked by a lot of different meanings. Most of my usages of the word seem to fit under the categories “highlighting concepts to hold in mind for future reference” and “showing how two adjacent utterances are related”. Leave it to linguistics to legitimize my socially unacceptable speech…

here is the link to the article:


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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