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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
The Dilemna Dilemma
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Poll: The Dilemna Dilemma
Dilemma
Dilemna
Quandary*
can't/refuse to decide (aka other)
View Results (68 votes)
 

SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 17 2014, 9:17pm

Post #1 of 157 (1840 views)
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The Dilemna Dilemma Can't Post

Today on Wire Tap, Jonathan Goldstein discussed the "The Dilemna Dilemma"... without giving too much away, let's just say a significant number of people spell the word one way or the other.

Without Googling, whom do you serve?

Further reading.

* okay smarty pants: consider first the prefix "di" suggests that it is a difficult choice between two things.


Starling
Half-elven


May 17 2014, 9:46pm

Post #2 of 157 (1357 views)
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Is this a serious question? [In reply to] Can't Post

Why on earth would anyone spell dilemma with an n on purpose? I have never heard of that or seen it before.
This is definitely the most confusing poll I have ever seen on TORn. All a bit much for my Sunday morning. Laugh


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 18 2014, 12:12am

Post #3 of 157 (1319 views)
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Never heard or say it spelt that way... [In reply to] Can't Post

'Dilemma' was always the natural way for me and my kin. Granted, I did mis-spell 'presciption', 'suprise 'perjorative' for the longest time,and I also spell these words differently than most of my peers: 'honour', 'colour', and 'armour'.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 2:08am

Post #4 of 157 (1309 views)
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Yes. It's in fact a "dilemma/dilemna." [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

When I said a significant number of people spell it one way or the other, that's a true fact. It's noteworthy because only one way is the correct way. Yet somehow the other way (i.e. the incorrect way) made its way into usage by at least 10 percent of English speakers, across several generations, and all over the world.

It doesn't get any more serious than that. Laugh


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 2:15am

Post #5 of 157 (1340 views)
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Plough through this list: [In reply to] Can't Post

here and decide if you prefer UK or US English.

For our purposes though, as I said to Starling, the dilemma dilemna spans generations and continents.

Cool


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 18 2014, 2:59am

Post #6 of 157 (1740 views)
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My spelling is quite eclectic... [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of my reading assignments were English (Read: British) Literature, and since I was a voracious reader, they left an indelible mark on my spelling habits.

I'd say that I prefer to include the dropped u's, reverse 'r' and 'e' in 'Theatre' when it refers to the professional art or performance, as well as capitalising it. In forming verbs with -ise/-ize I am ambivalent. I also add the extra e's in 'encyclopaedia', 'axe' and 'likeable'. For the rest, I'd say it varies: I write 'siphon' and 'tire' yet also prefer 'cypher' and 'flyer' ('flyer', as in an advert), and usually double any consonant to add -ing (worshipping), but there are exceptions (reveling).

I've never heard of this spelling variant, and at first, thought it a hoax. I am genuinely surprised to hear how widespread this spelling is. It is even present in Robinson Crusoe:

In this Dilemna, as I was very pensive, I stept into the Cabin, and sat me down.


I suppose I assumed it was an archaism like 'stept'.

Could it be a false connexion drawn to the words 'indemn(ify)' and 'condemn(ation)'? In the long forms of these words, the 'n' is pronounced. Could that be the difference?

Most interesting!!


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 18 2014, 3:03am

Post #7 of 157 (1268 views)
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I've never heard of it being spelled with an "n". [In reply to] Can't Post

I am therefore completely unfazed (not phased) by this apparemnt spelling crisis. Angelic


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 18 2014, 3:29pm

Post #8 of 157 (1282 views)
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There is only one correct spelling, as far as I can tell. [In reply to] Can't Post

d - i - l - e - m - m - a

I find no evidence for an acceptable alternative spellling, either modern or archaic. What kind of illiterate fool is this Jonathan Goldstein to even bring up this subject?


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 18 2014, 3:34pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


May 18 2014, 3:41pm

Post #9 of 157 (1255 views)
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No comnent. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Annael
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 3:56pm

Post #10 of 157 (1280 views)
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Frankly, my dear, I don't give a . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

one wonders if the word "damn" played a role?

RIght now my issue is all the people who have started putting a comma before a person's name when there is absolutely no grammatical reason to do so! "Program Directer, Elena Chodhaury has just won . . ." etc. Drives me nuts, and it's getting more and more widespread. I assume people see someone else do it and imitate them.

I can hear my mother muttering "if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it?"


Magpie
Immortal


May 18 2014, 4:00pm

Post #11 of 157 (1279 views)
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does that make me an illiterate fool [In reply to] Can't Post

for thinking it was 'mna'?

On a whim I used onelook.com to search for other words with a similar ending, thinking I must have confused it with another word.

That site lists dilemna as a word! If you click on it, it takes you to a page that indicates it's common misspelling of dilemma. There's a redirect page for "Prisoner's dilemna" at wikipedia. That's all a sure sign that lots of people misspell it.

Comments on various sites indicate that many people have thought their whole life it was 'mna'. People report that they were taught the wrong spelling in school. Googling 'dilemna' will bring up lots of articles that discuss this widespread misspelling and try to figure out why it's so widespread. It's not a 'mistake' in the sense that people confuse there - their - they're. It's an issue of people being convinced it's spelled 'dilemna.'

Lots of people.


Magpie
Immortal


May 18 2014, 4:06pm

Post #12 of 157 (1269 views)
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Some of us learned our grammar in 1962 [In reply to] Can't Post

That was a long time ago. I do my best, but I get it wrong more often than I like.

I actually learned grammar by diagramming sentences.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 18 2014, 4:06pm

Post #13 of 157 (1276 views)
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No, Maggie. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, you didn't bring it up over the public air waves. The site you cite (sorry!) does acknowledge that dilemna is a misspelling and not an acceptable alternative.


Magpie
Immortal


May 18 2014, 4:07pm

Post #14 of 157 (1246 views)
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I think I read a column about this last autumn [In reply to] Can't Post

:-)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 5:45pm

Post #15 of 157 (1234 views)
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You may be onto something [In reply to] Can't Post

That the misspelling was skipped because mn looks a lot like mm is one of the theories of dilemna's persistence.

(It took me a while to spot that you were in fact making a comnent.)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 5:51pm

Post #16 of 157 (1249 views)
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Not so uncomnon after all. [In reply to] Can't Post

As with Darkstone's comnent, that mn where the n is silent is used in other familiar words is another of the theories for dilemna's staying power.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 5:54pm

Post #17 of 157 (1247 views)
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Yes, that is the point. [In reply to] Can't Post

However because a significant number of people spell it the wrong way -- 15% of our poll respondents so far -- it's a proper dilemma. Wink


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 18 2014, 6:10pm

Post #18 of 157 (1251 views)
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I have a vague sense that [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always found dilemna to be an acceptable spelling... However I have a stronger sense that I've always spelled it "dilema."

A search of dilemna on TORn reveals it's been used 15 times (outside of this thread) since the new board was made (dilemna link) vs 459 times for the correct spelling (dilemma link).

Incidentally, a search for "dilema" yields 23 results by members, our friends Otaku-sempai and Larry counted among them (dilema link).

Curiouser and curiouser.Smile


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on May 18 2014, 6:13pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 18 2014, 6:18pm

Post #19 of 157 (1221 views)
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I plead the Fifth! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Incidentally, a search for "dilema" yields 23 results by members, our friends Otaku-sempai and Larry counted among them (dilema link).



I will admit to getting sloppy from time to time. I also suspect that at least some incidents of delemna are simple typographical errors rather than examples of deliberate usage.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 18 2014, 6:28pm

Post #20 of 157 (1237 views)
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I hate that too! [In reply to] Can't Post

People try to look more intelligent by using half-remembered rules, and they end up adding commas, semicolons, and other notation where they needn't. One other grammatical error I see quite often is 'me vs. I':

Peter and I went to the store.

vs.

Peter and me went to the store.


They write/say the first, which is correct, but second-guessing themselves, they go for the odd sounding and incorrect 'me', because they think it should be obscure and hard to remember. I also see it in the object of a sentence:

He told Peter and I to go to the store

vs.

He told Peter and me to go to the store


Learning sentence diagrams was very helpful, now that I look back at it with affectionate loathing.


wonderinglinguist
Lorien

May 18 2014, 10:03pm

Post #21 of 157 (1234 views)
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I'm from the US [In reply to] Can't Post

and I can honestly say I've never seen "esthetic, esthetically" etc. in my whole life and didn't even know such a spelling option existed! I asked my husband, too, and he just pulled a "what the heck??" face when I told him about dropping the 'a'.
There were quite a few other words --particularly the ones with the doubled consonants-- that I feel I've seen spelled both ways equally as much and could go either way. I'm curious how they determined some of these.

Generally, it seems that the US spellings are a bit more concise, dropping some unnecessary/silent letters or changing to a more phonetic spelling (though considering how many extra letters and such we still have, that's not saying much Tongue)


Annael
Half-elven


May 19 2014, 2:54pm

Post #22 of 157 (1213 views)
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I tell people to get rid of the other person [In reply to] Can't Post

So "Peter and me went to the store" becomes "Me went to the store," and they get that it's wrong.

Same with the people (very common in business I find) who write or say "ask Peter or myself if you have questions."


Darkstone
Immortal


May 19 2014, 3:02pm

Post #23 of 157 (1214 views)
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A piece columnal at a time autumnal? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Sounds of Silence

Did you know,
That silent letters,
Sometimes have a sound?
In "signal" you hear a "g",
In "sign" you don't.
In "bombard" you hear a "b",
In "bomb" you won't.
In "crumble" you hear a b,
In "crumb" you can't.
In "twins" you hear a "w",
In "two" you shan't.
The fact that silent letters can be heard,
Does this not strike you as absurd?
-Doreen Scott-Dunne


(This post was edited by Darkstone on May 19 2014, 3:04pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


May 19 2014, 3:32pm

Post #24 of 157 (1201 views)
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But what about... [In reply to] Can't Post

..."damnation"?

My latest mal du mot is what seems to be a growing trend to use "to" for "too". Is saving one character that important?


SirDennisC
Half-elven


May 19 2014, 3:48pm

Post #25 of 157 (1242 views)
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Dilemnal? [In reply to] Can't Post

No silent n there... seems like a word... huh.

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