OSWE Quotations in Quarterly Updates

Some entries from the Quarterly Updates include data from the 2013–14 DARE Online Survey of Wisconsin English (OSWE). Though the quotation format has similarities to other DARE materials we use in entries, clarification might be useful when viewing the supplementary maps. The maps will illustrate the statistics shared in the Quarterly Update entries and, when applicable, show any additional contrasts or comparisons of interest. The treatment below will hopefully provide a better understanding of all OSWE-related materials: maps, survey results, telephone interviews, and quotations in Quarterly Updates.

Using the revised entry at QU1 for babushka as an example, the following footnotes provide further explanation for the parts of this quotation.

2013–14 DARE Online Surv. WI Engl. 1 WI 2 (Qu. W3, A piece of cloth that a woman folds over her head and ties under her chin) 3 23 Infs, 4 Babushka;5 1 Inf, Babooshka. [24 of 95 eligible Infs 6 who responded to this question 7, from 11 of 28 represented 8 target communities 9]


1. 2013–14 DARE Online Surv. WI Engl. = the short title we have designated for all OSWE-related quotations.

2. WI = the regional label assigned to the responses. Since only informants from Wisconsin are taken into account, the state label will usually be the regional label, but regional patterns within the state may also be noted, such as seWI. If any of the non-Wisconsin residents who took the survey are ever included in DARE entries these will be treated differently and clearly identified.

3. (Qu. W3, A piece of cloth that a woman folds over her head and ties under her chin) = the question text used in the 2013–14 version of the DARE Questionnaire. If significant changes were made from the initial 1965–70 DARE Questionnaire, this will be noted.

4. 23 Infs = the number of “eligible informants” (survey-takers who met certain criteria—see 6 below) who gave the word or words as a response to the preceding question(s). It should be noted that informants were able to give more than one response for each question.

5. Babushka = the response or responses treated at this quotation and at this entry.

6. eligible Infs = an eligible informant is any survey-taker who met the criteria to be an “official informant” regardless of whether or not they were assigned to be one. This included:

  • speaking English as his or her first language
  • being a lifelong resident of 1 of the 22 original “legacy” communities OR living at least 15 years in 1 of the 30 additional “new” communities
  • providing answers to demographic data
  • answering at least one survey question and successfully submitting responses using the online survey instrument

Furthermore, an official informant is the first eligible informant to complete a pre-determined percentage of a section of the DARE Questionnaire for each of the 52 designated target communities. In order to perform comparisons to the WI Infs who took the 1965–70 DARE Survey, official informants are essential. In the treatment of headwords and variants in entries, however, a larger pool of informants can be utilized in order to provide a more accurate picture of the word’s contemporary and/or regional usage.

Occasionally, we will use survey responses from informants who are neither official or eligible to document evidence of word usage in an entry. These are labeled as auxilliary informants (Aux Inf). An example of this can be seen at Belgian pie  where it is also explained why the inf is auxilliary.

7. 24 of 95 eligible Infs who responded to this question = Though there are a total of 629 eligible informants who took the survey, they did not answer every question. This statistic, then, provides perspective on the frequency of the response(s) in relation to the number of people who actually answered the question.

8. from 11 of 28 represented target communities = as with the eligible Infs statistic at 7 above, not all “target communities” answered the question. For this particular question, only 28 of the 52 target communities weighed in, and of these 11 communities provided the response babushka (or a variant).

9. target communities = Though we welcomed responses from all over the state, 52 target communities were established for “official” data and we concentrated our recruitment efforts in those communities. Included in the list of 52 were the 22 original communities visited for the 1965–70 DARE Survey as well as 30 additional communities. The new communities were chosen, with assistance from the UW–Madison’s Applied Population Laboratory, to further represent the state’s population today. View a map of the 52 target communities.