Back when researchers for the Dictionary of American Regional English went tramping across this great land in search of every last shade of local color, DARE Survey Question AA3 asked respondents to offer up “nicknames or affectionate names for a sweetheart.” And did they ever.
The top handful of responses are to be expected: darling, dear, sweetie, baby, sweetheart, sugar, beau. But on this Valentine’s Day let’s dig a bit, via www.daredictionary.com, where subscribed users can view every answer to every question of the original DARE survey. Some gems, in fun particular order:
Lots of love in this country. Lots of funny talkin love’.
There’s also lots of love out there for DARE, which is used by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. And, as it happens, right now DARE wants to hear from you about how you’d use the new www.daredictionary.com. An invitation from Simon Winchester, who sits on the DARE Board of Visitors:
For all you word-lovers, dictionary mavens, and lexicographers manqués, here’s a doozy of a prize.
Win a free three-year subscription to the digital version of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE): the monumental, six-volume, half-a-century-in-the-making treasure house of American-as-she-is-spoke throughout this immense (and linguistically immensely varied) nation.
We need from you just 500 well-chosen words, fashioned into an essay of elegance, logic, and persuasive power that will answer the simple question: how would you use DARE to enrich and improve your writing?
Draft your contribution, hone it, make it sing, and you will have a chance to win online access to the dictionary of your dreams!
What better offer have you had today?
Head on over to the DARE site for contest guidelines. You’ve got til April 30th.
Now go do something nice for your sugar puddin’.