Letters: The Origins of DARE

On Wisconsin is terrific! Regarding Professor [Frederic] Cassidy and the Dictionary of American Regional English [“DARE to Be Done,” News and Notes, Summer 2009]: The article states correctly that DARE was the brainchild of Professor Cassidy, but incorrectly that it began in 1965. I was a student in Cassidy’s English 190 course (phonetics) in 1949, and I can tell you that we spent a good deal of time discussing regional dialects in America during those class periods. We knew we were helping him do research for his project.

For example, I learned there that “potluck supper” is not the only way Americans refer to that sort of occasion. Some call it a “cover dish,” others a “kivver dish.” I can also tell you that Cassidy’s classes were enormously interesting and informative and remained a positive influence for me during my entire life.

Landon Risteen ’50

Chicago

Published in the Fall 2009 issue

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