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What Is DARE?

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a multi-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States... read more...

DARE News

Congratulations to Amy Clark, DARE's 2014 Essay Contest winner for her lovely essay, "DARE to Dream". For her efforts, she has won a three-year subscription to Digital DARE. Nice work, Amy!

Leonard Zwilling, General Editor and Bibliographer for the Dictionary of American Regional English, uses a magnifying glass as he writes a definition for storm porch, referring to one of the 35 dictionaries he uses in his research.

Joan Hall, Senior Scientist in the Department of English and Chief Editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), reviews index cards containing edited entries to be included in the fifth and final volume of DARE while working in the project's office in Helen C. White Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Feb. 5, 2009.

Joan Houston Hall accepted the Dartmouth Medal on behalf of DARE. The ceremony was on June 30, 2013, in Chicago, at the annual conference of the American Library Association. The medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance. See more photos.

Hall with Lachlan Story

Hall with Lachlan Story, son of George Story, one of the editors of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Hall gave the George Story Lecture at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's on Sept. 25, 2013.

New Survey Questions

Hall reveals some of the new questions in the Wisconsin survey at the George Story Lecture at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's on Sept. 25, 2013

 

Joan Houston Hall was one of two recipients of the 2013 Emory Medal, "the university's highest alumni honor." She is pictured here with Emory University President Jim Wagner, and the other recipient, Walter M. "Sonny" Deriso, Jr.  at the award ceremony on November 12, 2013.  Photo by Ann Borden.

daredictionary.com Homepage

Digital DARE launched December 2, 2013. Depicted here is the home page with the Regional Browse and Word Wheel features highlighted.  So many ways to explore DARE! Check it all out at daredictionary.com or  learn how you, your public library, or your institution can subscribe.

Word Tree

In 1992, DARE founder Frederic G. Cassidy contributed DARE materials for the Word Tree exhibit, which illustrates words that have come into American English from languages all over the world. The exhibit is at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and is still available for viewing today.

DARE Volumes displayed

The full set of printed Volumes I-VI with the updated book jackets

Cathy Attig, DARE Technical Typist and Production Assistant, found a few historical gems in her office which she put on display before retiring. We're calling it "The Technology Museum", and it is full of once-cutting-edge tools and instruments used to improve and enhance the day-to-day operations at DARE. And no, she didn't shrink—she's holding a double-sided floppy disk from ancient times, the 1980s (technologically speaking). We'll be posting more photos from Cathy's "Technology Museum" soon. Stay tuned!

Brontë Wieland helped prepare the 1965–70 fieldworkers' audio recordings (DARE Tapes) by removing personal or sensitive information through a project internally (and facetiously) known as "the Bleeping Project."

DARE in the Media

Response to Dictionary Survey Surges after Report, postcrescent.com, July 2, 2014
The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2014, TIME.com, May 1, 2014
DARE Reboots for New Generation, Appleton Post Crescent, April 16, 2014
Know Your Collywobbles from Your Mulligrubs . . ., Dictionary.com, March 26, 2014

What are people saying about DARE?

"The digital DARE contains all the material from the print version and is an amazing database. . . . The detailed work that made the print DARE a major research source is mirrored in the digital version. Ideally, all academic and large public libraries should subcribe to this fantastic resource, if budget allows."

Christine Bulson Booklist

“Recently in the language world, something happened that might be described as the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the Fourth of July, New Year’s, three scoops of ice cream, and a new kitten all rolled into one…I’m talking about the fact that the magnificent six volume Dictionary of American Regional English is now available online.”

Martha Barnette “A Way with Words”

“Touring the Dictionary of American Regional English is a road trip of the mind from sea to shining sea. . . . It speaks with authority about American regional speech and has also captured the popular imagination. It is a peerless resource for scholars, but at the same time delivers accurate information about regional vocabulary to laypersons who, until DARE, could not count on access to it.”

Michael Adams, Humanities

“Can a person fall in love with a dictionary? If the work in question is the Dictionary of American Regional English, which has just published its fifth volume, Sl-Z, the answer appears to be yes.”

Heidi Landecker, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A great project on how Americans speak—make that the great project on how Americans speak—is reaching completion this spring. . . . DARE stands alone as the most exhaustive record of regional speech in America, each page bursting with geographically nuanced information about the country’s diverse lexicon. It’s a joy to page through: Where else would you learn that snuff for chewing is called snoose in the Pacific Northwest, and also goes by the name Swedish condition powder?”

Ben Zimmer, Boston Globe

“For scholars of American English, this volume and the series it completes are a hoard of riches. . . . It is a repository of who we have been as a people, and who we are.”

John E. McIntyre, Baltimore Sun

 
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