Dictionary of American Regional English is a treasure trove of local words and pronunciations. Many entries also contain hints of etymology. Numerous maps enhance its value. Thousands of volunteers traveled all over the country recording the answers of the natives. Countless books, journals, and newspapers were read in search of regional words. DARE’s model was to a certain extent JosephWright’s English Dialect Dictionary, another work of permanent value. The five volumes of DARE read like thrillers. For more than half a century, several agencies and an army of individual sponsors have made the work of this great national monument possible. Now DARE has run out of funding. There is money for a picture that costs half a billion and for rewarding the winners of bizarre lawsuits, but not for the work that will stand as a permanent monument to the language of the richest country of the world. Read DARE, read about DARE, admire it, and tell your friends about it. The history of DARE is being written. The history of Joseph Wright’s dictionary was written by his wife. Not every dictionary has a wife, but enthusiastic scholars have not yet died out.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
… Etymology gleanings for December 2017 | OUPblog. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)