Free trials of digital DARE
Joan H. Hall
jdhall at WISC.EDU
Mon Apr 7 19:23:05 UTC 2014
I'd like to remind you that your institution can get a free, 30-day
trial of the digital version of DARE by going to
To urge her campus librarian to purchase DARE, Kate Remlinger put
together the following description of its potential uses, which she has
allowed me to share with you. I hope you'll pass this message on to your
acquisitions librarian and urge that your campus give it a try!
Kate reports that Grand Valley State University did purchase DARE, and
says, "My students have been enjoying the benefits of having DARE at
their fingertips (and ears)--the sound files have been especially useful
in class when we've studied variant features."
• Creative writing students/faculty could use the entries and sound
files to create character and to set scenes. (It is easy to search for
all the entries labeled as being characteristic of a given state or region.)
• Theater students/faculty could use audio clips for dialect training.
• History, geography, urban planning students/faculty could use the
audio files, which include background/ambient sounds that reveal
historical contexts, to describe the cultural and natural habitat of the
time, place, speakers, and community where the recording took place.
These could also be used to discuss the changes since then in urban,
suburban, and rural landscapes by comparing to the recorded sounds to
those hat make up the same communities today.
• Biology/botany, natural resources, zoology, ornithology
students/faculty can use the search functions and DARE's unique system
of "collector" entries to link common and scientific names for plants
and animals. For example, by going to the entry for "bittern," you can
see the more than 50 common names that are used for the bird.
• Pre-med, PA, health science and nursing students/faculty can look up
common names for illnesses that, when used by patients, can leave
doctors from other regions perplexed.
• Anthropology students/faculty can use DARE's entries to examine
folklore related to certain topics and/or regions.
•Anthropology and criminal justice faculty/students can also use it to
investigate forensic issues related to language. See this article from
PBS's Do You Speak American for an example of how DARE is used to solve
• Modern Language, English, and Applied linguistics students/faculty can
use the dictionary for examining word histories, languages of origin,
effects of language and culture contact related to both literature and
language courses. The index allows searching by language names and
• English, sociology, anthropology, and education faculty/students can
use the site to help dispel language myths and to create awareness about
linguistic and social prejudice. For example, the "responses by
frequency" can show how usage varies by age, gender, race, education,
and community type.
•Advertising students/faculty can use DARE to search for trademarks and
regional uses of language.
• Librarians, Communications, and Writing faculty/student can use DARE
as an internet literacy tool: all the major features of the internet are
included in the DARE site, a closed environment, that could be used in a
variety of ways to teach computer literacy, internet searches, and other
related uses. And of course librarians will use it to answer questions
for patrons (e.g., "What's a dryland fish?").
Obviously, I think that DARE is an invaluable interdisciplinary tool for
research, teaching, and learning, for students and faculty from
anthropology to zoology. (I do think that for the site to be widely
used, however, there needs to be good promotion and workshops provided.)
And, at $5000 for perpetual use, it is one of the best buys when it
comes to digital (and print) resources.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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