View Full Version : Dilemma or dilemna

Feb 5, 2007, 03:48 AM
I see that dictionary.com says it's spelled Dilemma... but I have always used dilemna.

Didn't the latter used to be the standard way to spell it?

Feb 5, 2007, 03:53 AM
Never seen dilemna. You are a crazy one.

Feb 5, 2007, 03:57 AM
Looking up the etymology: "First attested 1523, from Late Latin dilemma, from Ancient Greek δίλήμμα (dilémma), "double proposition", from δι (di) + (lémma), premise, proposition"

A quick search for dilemna on Google shows at least one account where people have been taught to spell it dilemna, but I don't see a source for it.

Also, looking on some pages that I like to read about common usage errors, they don't mention it, so it must be fairly rare.

Feb 5, 2007, 04:13 AM
Yes, Google's got a half a million hits for use of it - and I at least felt a little better when I saw hit #1 (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=dilemna&btnG=Google+Search) was someone else saying they'd been taught to spell it that way. Odd indeed.

Feb 5, 2007, 04:23 AM
I'm intrigued by this, I'm going to see if Mr. Straight Dope (http://www.straightdope.com/) has anything to add to the discussion. I'll e-mail him tonight :)

(Don't click the link unless you want to do nothing else for the remainder of the day)

There's also 26 hits for dilemna on the board

Feb 5, 2007, 04:33 AM
You read me right. I love that kind of stuff!

I'm the type that's envious of the folks that make it onto Jeopardy :)

Feb 5, 2007, 05:43 AM
Dilemna is like fustrated instead of frustrated... a recent American invention!

Feb 5, 2007, 05:50 AM
Fustration I can understand, it's someone being lazy. It's just that dilemna needs more effort to say than dilemma.

Feb 5, 2007, 05:53 AM
Then what about orientated (based on orientation), instead of oriented? That's a whole extra sylla... never mind, it occurred to me maybe it really is a word, and it is! Still it always sounds artificially augmented to me. LOL

Feb 5, 2007, 05:55 AM
That's ignorance of the right word, and deriving the word from orientation.

Dilemna is neither from laziness or improper derivation.

Feb 5, 2007, 06:04 AM
Just a note. The "n" has never been vocalized in dilemna. Just a spelling thing.

I narrowed my Google search and find quite a bit of conversation on the subject:
spell OR spelling AND dilemna AND dilemma - Google Search (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=spell+OR+spelling+AND+dilemna+AND+dilemma&btnG=Google+Search)

Feb 5, 2007, 06:30 AM
Maybe for dilemma its just from needing stronger glasses? :rolleyes:

And I don't sense that fustrated is laziness, like say in the child's pronunciation of "samwich".
They really think its making a connection to the word fuss --- at least all the folks I've ever asked about that one.

And I understand Rick's thinking that its like the word condemn. Same deal there.

Feb 5, 2007, 06:35 AM
I used to call radiators "heaterater"s :D

Feb 5, 2007, 06:40 AM
Heaterater... that's good. I'll tell you one you have that would be a tongue twister for me -- "car park" ha ha.

For the longest time I couldn't pronounce linoleum either. LOL
It came out something like linolaleeeum if I even got it out of my mouth so I learned to say vinyl!

Too bad President Bush couldn't do likewise with nu-cu-lar. LOL

Feb 5, 2007, 06:55 AM
Maybe for dilemma its just from needing stronger glasses? :rolleyes:

If my glasses were any thicker people would laugh at me :p

Dec 17, 2010, 08:33 PM
Look! We are NOT crazy! Books that use the "mn" spelling!

"dilemna" - Google Search (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22dilemna%22&tbs=bks%3A1%2Ccdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A1800%2Ccd_max%3A1 820&lr=lang_en)