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Dilemma/dilemna

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:04 pm
by Verbum
As a result of a remark made by someone on another forum, I did a search on dilemma vs. dilemna and was surprised to discover how many people were actually TAUGHT to spell d-i-l-e-m-n-a. Can anyone throw light on the origina of this tenured error?

Verbum

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:48 pm
by Apoclima
It is a strange phenomenon! It's not from the Greek!

Is there some analogous word that ends in -mna?

1. aimna
2. alumna
3. ancamna
4. ceratogymna
5. chamna
6. columna
7. dmna
8. gamna
9. genus iliamna
10. genus lamna
11. genus lemna
12. homna
13. iliamna
14. imna
15. itzamna
16. jimna
17. jmna
18. julia domna
19. jumna
20. kamna
21. kemna
22. kolomna
23. lamna
24. lemna
25. lmna
26. methymna
27. minicolumna
28. mmmna
29. mmna
30. mna
31. nmna
32. numna
33. old iliamna
34. philocremna
35. pilumna
36. rhithymna
37. rmna
38. rumna
39. semna
40. somna
41. sømna
42. timna
43. usmna
44. voltumna
45. volumna

*mna

Apo

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:00 pm
by tcward
I've never run across this particular misspelling before, but it doesn't surprise me at all that this word should be misspelled. After all, I'm sure there are many people who rationalize the spelling to match the second syllable of condemn. They figure it's one of those tough words and it couldn't possibly be so easy as to have two m's.

What they don't realize (and probably don't care to realize) is that the two words come from completely different roots, the first being Greek, and the second being Latin.

But that's just a guess.

-Tim

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:51 pm
by astrokatastro
Some Greeks say in a funny way:i 'm in a trilema

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:47 pm
by gailr
How does one grasp the horns of that one, astrokatastro? :)
gailr

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:13 am
by Apoclima
Trilemma, easy, throw one out, or group two together into one, then you have a dilemma, easy, throw one out, then you have a monolemma, not so easy, you're stuck with it!

Apo

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:05 pm
by astrokatastro
I couldn’t explain so good as you Apo. :D

Re: Dilemma/dilemna

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:59 pm
by april61
Verbum wrote:As a result of a remark made by someone on another forum, I did a search on dilemma vs. dilemna and was surprised to discover how many people were actually TAUGHT to spell d-i-l-e-m-n-a. Can anyone throw light on the origina of this tenured error?

Verbum
I've discussed this at length with friends on another board, a year or more ago. I've always had a problem remembering which was the correct spelling of dilemma; many of my friends had not heard of putting in an "n."

I did a google search on dilemna back then and found that I'm not the only one who struggles with this word. Of course, now, after all the discussion and learning about the Greek etymology, I don't misspell it any longer.

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:24 pm
by Brazilian dude
But why would anybody spell dilemma with double n? I don't know any English words in which mn in pronounced m. Anybody can refresh my memory?

Brazilian dude

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:40 pm
by april61
Brazilian dude wrote:But why would anybody spell dilemma with double n? I don't know any English words in which mn in pronounced m. Anybody can refresh my memory?

Brazilian dude
How about condemn?

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:57 pm
by sluggo
april61 wrote:
Brazilian dude wrote:But why would anybody spell dilemma with double n? I don't know any English words in which mn in pronounced m. Anybody can refresh my memory?

Brazilian dude
How about condemn?
Damn! She's right.

-and what about MN, pronounced MIN-uh-SO-tah?

off-the-top-of-my-head

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:16 pm
by april61
We also have column. There must be others, but I can't think of any easy way to look them up or search for them anywhere.

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:30 pm
by Brazilian dude
Yeah, but those end in an m sound. I think that makes all the difference.

Brazilian dude

bump

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:15 pm
by yellowfish
I know this is a really old thread, and I dont know if anyone will read this, but I've ALWAYS thought "dilemma" was spelled "dilemna"

I've always prided myself on being a really good speller, too. I got a near-perfect score in English on my ACT and won a few spelling bees here and there...it really surprised me the other day to find out it was "dilemma"

But check this out: http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asia ... index.html

ha!

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:58 pm
by sluggo
Welcome Yellafish!
Nobody condemns digging up old dirt here. Have at it and more power to ya.

Have to say I never saw or heard this one before, and I'm the same kind of speller with the bees, etc. Of course I've got my own other conundrumns as I guess we all do. We've all been through this site's spelling quiz as a kind of hazing. I don't know why it's not linked on the front page but Miss Spelling's resources are listed here. Thanks to Miss S' test, I'm no longer stung by plenitude, bellwether, minuscule and fluorescent.

It may or may not be worth noting (so I will) that the author of the CNN piece is apparently Korean?