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Spelling dilemna Options
RARA
Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:55:57 PM
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dingdong wrote:
PinkDeer wrote:
WOW! I'm 43 and this is the FIRST I've ever seen of a debate over dilemna. I was a straight A student in central Illinois, and have always been taught dilemna, NEVER dilemma. Spellcheck kept changing it on me and I subsequently found this forum. I can't see how SO many people in SO many locales could have been taught incorrectly for generations??!! Just makes my head spin.


Pinkdeer, don't spin your head; there's a rational explanation, and I'm trying to find it. If you want an update go to the conspiracy theories thread.
I wouldn't worry unduly, unless you are a student of gramnar and like to put your comnas in the right places.


I'm venturing into the great British countryside tomorrow and will be in search of bookstores with very old dictionaries supporting the Dilemna team!
nooblet
Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:22:54 PM
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Next time I go to an old bookstore, I will also peruse the dictionaries.

And no head spinning please. I'd hate to have to call an exorcist, they're very expensive and charge by the hour.
Lady Penelope
Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 7:59:32 PM
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OK, so with 35,325 viewings, is this the biggest thread. I discount the Games threads as they do go on for a long time.
dingdong
Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 8:48:43 PM
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RARA wrote:

I'm venturing into the great British countryside tomorrow and will be in search of bookstores with very old dictionaries supporting the Dilemna team!


RARA, a good place to venture to is Hay-on-Wye near the Welsh border. It's a small town crammed with second-hand bookshops. One is an old cinema that has been converted. Wish I was there.
Lady Penelope
Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 7:29:14 PM
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Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.
grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 7:56:25 PM
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Lady Penelope wrote:

Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.


This just keeps getting more and more interesting. So if he's an English professor who adamantly professes that dilemma should be spelled as dilemna, then maybe he will finally be the one to be able to produce some written evidence.

I was taught "dilemma" but I'd still love to find out more about why so many people were taught "dilemna."
dingdong
Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:18:27 AM
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Lady Penelope wrote:

Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.


Yes, Lady Penelope, we want PROOF. Nothing less will do; so away with all these righteous folk who claim authority, but are at a loss to provide evidence.

By the way, if it was the professor who said he was VERY adamant, then I would doubt he was a real professor. The word adamant is sufficiently polarised not to need a qualifier.

Remember ariane - the Ph.D. All bluster and no backup.
I wonder ... do dilemnaists also have delusions about their status in life? Just a thought.
Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:29:39 AM

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Lady Penelope wrote:
Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.

Excellent! Fresh meat! Invite him to join FreeDELFia and we'll (in the colorful vernacular of the American ignoramus) "tear him a new one."
peterhewett
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:14:43 AM
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Lady Penelope wrote

Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.

peter responds

Ah... I have always had a healthy disregard for professors. Where did he buy his degree?
dingdong
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:12:52 AM
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RARA wrote:

I'm venturing into the great British countryside tomorrow and will be in search of bookstores with very old dictionaries supporting the Dilemna team!


RARA, did you go? did you put your best foot forward, and put your back into it? We're all waiting with baited breath! Do the brass neck dilemnaists have a leg to stand on? Come on - point the finger, make a clean breast of it, and get it off your chest!
We want it on the chin.
Lady Penelope
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:44:25 PM
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Luftmarque wrote:
Lady Penelope wrote:
Just been talking to an English profrssor and he was VERY adamant it is Dilemna.

Excellent! Fresh meat! Invite him to join FreeDELFia and we'll (in the colorful vernacular of the American ignoramus) "tear him a new one."


I did tell him about TFD and this thread, hopefully he will join. Now I didn't say he was correct, just that he thought he was. Think

Peter, he's an Oxford man, go on, tell me they are inferior to Cambridge. Angel
stickerfan
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:41:17 PM
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I'm 42 and in Canada we've always spelled it "dilemna"...I must do a little research now, this is new to me...thanks.
Lire A Haute Voix
Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:28:16 AM
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Is anyone else in complete awe that this topic has made it to 223 posts?
(I've always spelled it dilemma).
boris
Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:42:40 PM
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I'm 43 and living in France, and just to add to the general perplexity, here's my testimony. I was taught in school to spell the French word for dilemna with an M and an N: dileMNE. I come from three generations of French scoolteachers and professors and always wrote and read that spelling, DILEMNE, and no-one among them ever corrected me. I read it so often, I guess it never occurred to me to look it up in a French dictionary. I then went on to study English with a tutor in Oxford at age 14 and learned the English translation, dileMNA. Which made perfect sense. Again, I never had to look it up in Webster's Dictionary, as there was never any doubt in my mind about the MN thing.
My father, a Frenchman raised in Germany in the early 1900s, actually prononounced the MN, so he must also have learned to spell it that way at the beginning of the 20th century in Berlin. I also know a writer who was born in 1932 and has always spelled it dileMNE, assuming "dilemme" with two Ms was a typo.
As I had seen "dilemme" several times in newspapers recently, I wondered if that shocking "new" spelling was now tolerated, and looked it up. I was stunned to find out that no French dictionary ever mentioned the dileMNE spelling. And my surprise increased some more when I found out the same spelling error had been taught in school to various British and American students as well.
Further research revealed that many great French writers like Victor Hugo, George Sand and Balzac all mistakenly wrote dileMNE, so this word has been taught to quite a bunch of students at the very least since the 1800s!
The mind boggles...
grammargeek
Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:35:26 PM
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Thank you, Boris, for that very enlightening post, and welcome to the forum.

You've given us some new and just as perplexing information to add to our collection. It's growing quite large, as I am sure you've noticed. When you said your first language was French and that you were taught the MN spelling from a long line of well-educated teachers, I was all ready to hear that your French dictionary would finally be the first piece of written documentation that dilemna/dilemne exists somewhere. Then I read that you couldn't find it there, either. I'll tell you, that just gave me a chuckle.

The plot thickens!
RuthP
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:22:59 AM

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Hi boris,

That's a wonderful post! Thanks for taking the time and welcome to the forum. I really am coming to believe that somewhere we are going to find a lesson plan which includes this misspelling. It appears too widespread to completely be individual occurrences.
Raparee
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:30:18 AM

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boris wrote:
Further research revealed that many great French writers like Victor Hugo, George Sand and Balzac all mistakenly wrote dileMNE, so this word has been taught to quite a bunch of students at the very least since the 1800s!
The mind boggles...

See now, this is research I LOVE! I love how it HAS been printed (and apparently not caught by editors, very likely because they spelled it "mn"). We have some very good company. :)

Welcome to the forums. I love how this thread draws in so many people from so many varied places. Dancing
DW
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:33:31 PM
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I work at the post office and a customer asked us how to spell "that" word, I said, "dilemna" and my co-worker said "dilemma", which led us to this site. I am over 40 and went to school in Missouri and North Carolina and was always taught to spell it "dilemna" and I also sound it out in my head with the "N" but leave it out when saying the word. I wish someone could explain this. I called one of the smartest men I know and he spelled it "dilemma" and had never heard of "dilemna" and he is almost 80. I am so confused.
dingdong
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:40:55 PM
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DW wrote:
I work at the post office and a customer asked us how to spell "that" word, I said, "dilemna" and my co-worker said "dilemma", which led us to this site. I am over 40 and went to school in Missouri and North Carolina and was always taught to spell it "dilemna" and I also sound it out in my head with the "N" but leave it out when saying the word. I wish someone could explain this. I called one of the smartest men I know and he spelled it "dilemma" and had never heard of "dilemna" and he is almost 80. I am so confused.


So do we all. Stick around, and the answer will be revealed - eventually.
Now, do you acknowledge the error of your ways?
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:12:42 PM

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So it seems our discussion is getting a high ranking in search engines; we may be on the way to becoming the authoritative forum on this topic! Perhaps we should all chip in and print our own dictionary offering the MN spelling as an acceptable alternate and then claim that as evidence.
grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:26:26 PM
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Luftmarque wrote:
So it seems our discussion is getting a high ranking in search engines; we may be on the way to becoming the authoritative forum on this topic! Perhaps we should all chip in and print our own dictionary offering the MN spelling as an acceptable alternate and then claim that as evidence.


That's so devious, Mark. Do you think we would be daMNed?
peterhewett
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:30:10 PM
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I don’t want to introduce a note of discord here… but I will.

My Gt.Gt.Gt. Grandfather one Tobias Algernon Hewett ( spelled with two ‘E’s and not the common way ergo: Hewitt ) insisted the correct spelling it was ‘delemma.’ It must be said at this point that he did have a strong regional accent and was a pig headed old sod. We Hewett’s have long held to this tradition, not being ones to be swayed by what the majority opine as correct. I am unanimous about this.


So it is spelled Delemma.
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:57:32 PM

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Very interesting, Peter. And we should also not forget that, in Vulcan, it's spelled "d'lemnah" and implies a logical contradiction (and, in Klingon, "Dah-lynhah!" though, in that language, it also has the connotation that the dilemma is about to solved via swordplay).
maryam
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 1:43:22 PM
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I always see it '' dilemma '' : a situation which makes problems, often one in which you have to make a very difficult choice between things of equal importance
SYN  predicament

[image not available]
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 5:42:14 PM
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Notice that smiley actually reads the right hand page of that book first. Cool! That must be Urdu/Arabic then, I suppose!! Wow, even smileys are language specific!!
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 7:29:25 PM

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I agree, that is an exceptionally cool smiley. And, kisholoy, I'd missed the right-to-left reading; thanks for pointing it out.

maryam - Welcome to the forums.
RARA
Posted: Sunday, May 30, 2010 3:59:15 AM
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dingdong wrote:
RARA wrote:

I'm venturing into the great British countryside tomorrow and will be in search of bookstores with very old dictionaries supporting the Dilemna team!


RARA, did you go? did you put your best foot forward, and put your back into it? We're all waiting with baited breath! Do the brass neck dilemnaists have a leg to stand on? Come on - point the finger, make a clean breast of it, and get it off your chest!
We want it on the chin.


I found nothing DD, but do not be dismayed. I am British and I am not a quitter. I will continue my expeditions into the Great British Wilds and I will return one day with an example of a dilemna, I will, for I truly believe in its existence!
boris
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 12:13:53 AM
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peterhewett wrote:
I don’t want to introduce a note of discord here… but I will.

My Gt.Gt.Gt. Grandfather one Tobias Algernon Hewett ( spelled with two ‘E’s and not the common way ergo: Hewitt ) insisted the correct spelling it was ‘delemma.’ It must be said at this point that he did have a strong regional accent and was a pig headed old sod. We Hewett’s have long held to this tradition, not being ones to be swayed by what the majority opine as correct. I am unanimous about this.
So it is spelled Delemma.




I love it. He must've been quite a guy. I think I'm gonna spell it just like your grandfather from now on (all the other spellings now look so wrong anyway). Why let some pesky dictionary spoil our fun, eh?
boris
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 12:57:39 AM
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grammargeek wrote:
Thank you, Boris, for that very enlightening post, and welcome to the forum.

You've given us some new and just as perplexing information to add to our collection. It's growing quite large, as I am sure you've noticed. When you said your first language was French and that you were taught the MN spelling from a long line of well-educated teachers, I was all ready to hear that your French dictionary would finally be the first piece of written documentation that dilemna/dilemne exists somewhere. Then I read that you couldn't find it there, either. I'll tell you, that just gave me a chuckle.

The plot thickens!



Thank you, grammargeek, and RuthP, and Raparee too, for your welcome. I feel less alone in the world... Boo hoo!
I'm sure we'll get to the core of this enigma sooner rather than later, especially since this topic seems to be getting increased exposure.

The Vulcan lead would seem to indicate the Vulcan Language Institute belongs to the dilemna school of thought. Just what we needed: an interplanetary debate!

grammargeek
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 1:14:01 AM
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Boris wrote:

Thank you, grammargeek, and RuthP, and Raparee too, for your welcome. I feel less alone in the world... Boo hoo!
I'm sure we'll get to the core of this enigma sooner rather than later, especially since this topic seems to be getting increased exposure.

The Vulcan lead would seem to indicate the Vulcan Language Institute belongs to the dilemna school of thought. Just what we needed: an interplanetary debate!



Ya think? Sooner rather than later, huh? That's what I thought about a year ago, and now look at this seven page thread that is still going strong about the spelling of a single word.

Boris, I want to also congratulate you on your appropriate use of the violin-playing Smiley! I don't know how much you've read of the other topics, but if that sounds like a bit of an odd statement, you'll understand better if you read this thread.
RARA
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 3:31:05 AM
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grammargeek wrote:

Boris, I want to also congratulate you on your appropriate use of the violin-playing Smiley! I don't know how much you've read of the other topics, but if that sounds like a bit of an odd statement, you'll understand better if you read this thread.[/color]


Ever so slightly off topic, in fact I had a dilemna about posting Anxious but your post made me laugh so much GG I had to thank you. Applause Applause Applause Applause your reference to the appropriate use of the violin playing smiley tickled me this morning.
Lady Penelope
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 8:47:07 AM
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After reading Boris' comment I looked at the Oxford/French dictionary. Sorry, no N, dilemme = dilemma.

Hope I haven't duplicated this, I have lost track somewhat, soooo many posts.
boris
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 9:55:13 PM
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grammargeek wrote:

Ya think? Sooner rather than later, huh? That's what I thought about a year ago, and now look at this seven page thread that is still going strong about the spelling of a single word.
Boris, I want to also congratulate you on your appropriate use of the violin-playing Smiley! I don't know how much you've read of the other topics, but if that sounds like a bit of an odd statement, you'll understand better if you read this thread.



Hello grammargeek, surely you can't blame me for being optimistic: with so many brains from so many different cultures we're bound to dig up some sort of explanation or origin for this bizarre set of events.
And if it takes ages, so what? Sometimes all the fun is in the search, as you no doubt know, and I'm so glad I found this place thanks to the dilemna dilemma (let's not forget delemma!).
Thank you for the thread, some of the posts there had me in stitches -of course I immediately thought of the 'smallest violin in the world, playing the saddest music in the world', but I must say this Smiley's frown also reminds me of Jeremy Brett playing the violin over-dramatically as Sherlock Holmes. I know, I watch waaay too much television, or at least I used to --nowadays I spend too much time superglued to a computer.

Many thanks to Lady Penelope for checking up the Oxford French dictionary.

I also looked it up in the TDLF (online French language Treasury) and whoever wrote it seems to be fairly confused: the Treasury lists dilemme in the specific paragraph about that word's spelling and meaning, but in various other places within the Treasury on other topics, the word dilemne crops up.
Yesterday I talked about it with a colleague born in 1959 who went to school in Normandy in the '60s-'70s; he was a very bright pupil, very good at spelling and is adamant he also learned the word dilemne in school; he discovered the official dilemme spelling just a few years back, too.

Didieras
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 7:14:48 PM
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This thread scares me! I am one of those who had NEVER seen the word spelled dileMNa anywhere else than in this forum. I grew up in France and I have always seen the word spelled dileMME in French too. I am really amazed that a few people in various countries (who probably got mixed up thinking of words like autumn/automne, column, hymn(e), indemne, indemnity etc.) would have had such influence on others that they managed to impose their spelling on so many. Scary thought indeed! But I can't say I'm really surprised: after all, so many people think they are helping others when they force them to say "I feel badly" or "for you and I."
boris
Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 8:33:41 AM
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Didieras wrote:
This thread scares me! I am one of those who had NEVER seen the word spelled dileMNa anywhere else than in this forum. I grew up in France and I have always seen the word spelled dileMME in French too. I am really amazed that a few people in various countries (who probably got mixed up thinking of words like autumn/automne, column, hymn(e), indemne, indemnity etc.) would have had such influence on others that they managed to impose their spelling on so many. Scary thought indeed! But I can't say I'm really surprised: after all, so many people think they are helping others when they force them to say "I feel badly" or "for you and I."



-Bonjour Didier! :) This is getting fun.
There are some more confused souls here (I've checked the previous pages and I don't think this link has been posted before):

http://www.oneofus.co.uk/forums/index.php?s=fa42e523f6ce7ec41b9c318e1323793c&showtopic=195&st=50
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