It’s Wednesday and Anything goes!


In 1965, bands of surveyors drove their Dodge vans every which way out of Madison, Wisc., starting a project that would take nearly a half century to complete. Their work—going door to door and asking what people called that strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk or those delicious round things you put syrup on and eat for breakfast—became the Dictionary of American Regional English, a six-volume catalog of the things that are only said in Maine or Appalachia or Southern Texas.

The final volume of DARE came hot off the Harvard University presses in 2012. One might think that after completing such an ambitious project, mapping tens of thousands of folk terms from sea to shining sea, the editors would sit back and bask in their book reviews. But one would be wrong. On Monday, the team based at the University of Wisconsin unveiled a website where…

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