First Edition. Very Good / Very Good. Item #5204
Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1985 - 2002. Volumes I - IV; all First Printings. Thick Quartos. Publisher's blue cloth in tan pictorial dust jackets. Illustrations throughout. Several letters laid in from the editors to author, linguist, and speechwriter William Safire.
Volume One inscribed by Chief Editor Cassidy on front free endpaper to William Safire. Inscription reads, "For Bill Safire, / Who has helped DARE [Dictionary of Regional English] / more than he can know! / FGC." A postcard from Cassidy to Safire is also taped down and reads, "Dear Bill, / One word that is now in the process of illustrating itself is deterioration. I hear / it frequently as deteriation. Haven't found / it in print yet, but give it time! / Fred." Additionally signed in title page.
Also laid in are two typed letters signed from Associate Editor (and later Chief Editor) Joan Hall regarding Safire's attendance to the 1989 centennial celebration of the American Dialect Society.
Another typed letter signed from Cassidy in part discusses a letter sent by DARE to Safire, "They asked about (1) the 'game' of saying 'Jinx!' / when two people happen to say exactly the same words / simultaneously, (2) a stew called hushmagundy -- dating from 1911, / and which makes me think of salmagundi; (3) from Look Homeward / Angel the word mountain grill for a hillbilly; and (4) the / difference, geographical and semantic between 'Here you are' and / 'There you are' said by waitresses when they pluck down your cup of / coffee. A bit of socialinguistics there! And it may be the East / vs the Midwest." A one page quiz word matching game for DARE enthusiasts also laid in.
Volume two signed by Cassidy and Hall on the title page, with a postcard from each laid in. Cassidy's briefly mentions a visit to the White House in 1994.
Volume three is not signed.
Volume four is inscribed by now Chief Editor Hall. Inscription on front free endpaper reads, "For Bill, / With thanks for / being such a special / friend of DARE. / Joan Houston Hall / Chief Editor." Also signed by David Simon, Director of Development.
All four volumes faded at spine. Volume one moderately chipped at edges and spine ends. Bindings are sound. A highly lauded reference on the history and development of American speech, called by Safire "The most exciting linguistic project going on in the United States." Volumes five and six, not available here, were published in 2012 and 2013.
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