Dictionary of American Regional English Virtual Exhibit

Have you heard of the Dictionary of American Regional English?  Called “DARE” by those who know it well, DARE is a six-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States. The sixth volume was published in 2013.

The National Museum of Language is happy to partner with The Dictionary of American English(DARE) to present a virtual exploration of how data was collected for the dictionary.

Reino Maki appears in front of a green Dodge van. Explosions are heard in the background.

How did DARE fieldworker Reino Maki end up under cannon fire? It all started in Wisconsin…

In this exhibit, you can read the stories of the field workers, play a game to try out the job as a fieldworker, take quizzes to test your knowledge, and earn a certificate as a ‘virtual fieldworker.’DARE .

You may have heard that American English has been “homogenized” by the media and our mobile population. DARE shows that there are still many differences in the dialect regions of the U.S. The Dictionary is being updated in DARE Online. You can subscribe to access it here.

DARE is based on face-to-face interviews carried out in all 50 states between 1965 and 1970 and on a comprehensive collection of written materials (diaries, letters, novels, histories, biographies, newspapers, government documents, etc.) that cover our history from the colonial period to the present.

Our first story is about Reino Maki. Read the story here.

Take a quiz on the story here.

Think you know all about the life of a fieldworker? Then play the game.