Joan H. Hall                     Luanne von Schneidemesser

Chief Editor, DARE                    Senior Editor, DARE




The South in DARE Revisited

It has been nearly forty years since the start of the fieldwork for the Dictionary of American Regional English and nearly twenty years since the first volume of DARE was published. During those decades major changes in our society have been accompanied by changes in our regional lexical patterns; and tremendous advances in technology have made it possible to better understand the histories and distributions of regional vocabulary. Using entries from Volume I of DARE (comprising the letters AC), we intend to examine selected terms that showed striking regionality in the South based on the fieldwork carried out between 1965 and 1970. How have they fared? Have they become much more widely known and used? Have they maintained their regional vitality? Or have they receded to become relics?

Starting from DARE entries labeled as having concentrations in the South, we will go both backward and forward. Using such digital libraries as The Making of America and American Memory, we will try to antedate DARE's earliest citations to get a better picture of the early history of each word; and using other resources of the World Wide Web we will try to determine the current distributions of these terms. We will also evaluate the usefulness of reviewing and revising DARE entries based on the present offerings available through the Web.