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Thread: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

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  1. #1
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    I was taught to spell the word dilemna, spelled it that way all the way through grade school, high school, and college, and never was corrected by a teacher or professor. Now every time I type it I get the dreaded red underline.

    Finally today I decided to check on this and I find out that there's a rather intense debate in some circles about the proper spelling of this word. People my age and older seem to have been taught dilemna and now there are a lot of people insisting that the proper spelling is dilemma, which of course doesn't produce the red line on the computer. What's the consensus here? I learned grammar in the 70s and I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I still won't use they as a singular pronoun even though it's becoming more common.
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  2. #2
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    We're about the same age, ORH, and I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever heard of the "dilemna" spelling. Learn something new every day.
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  3. #3
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    We're about the same age, ORH, and I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever heard of the "dilemna" spelling. Learn something new every day.
    I asked my brother and he said he's only ever known it to be spelled "dilemna." How can that be? We grew up in the same house and went to the same schools. Utterly perplexing, except it supports my argument that he usually doesn't know what he's talking about.
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Dang.... That's interesting. I'm a word geek and avid crossword addict and I've never seen or heard of "dilemna". Ever. Learn something new every day....

    Google search turned up this:

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dil1.htm

    http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/vie...hp?f=7&t=20317

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  5. #5
    ZCTRMTP!!!!! texasdave's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    I graduated high school in 1972 and I always thought it was spelled dilemna. I suppose that just means that I was always wrong. =)
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  6. #6
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    I'm a '02 high school graduate and I've always thought it was dilemna. I was perplexed when I started being corrected in college and by word processors.

    Perhaps it's regional?

  7. #7
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Graduated HS in 87. I never heard of dilemma until now. I have always thought it was dilemna. Maybe it is a regional thing akin to Coke,Soda and POP and Seattle falls in the dilemma category.

  8. #8
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Grammar Girl says the "dilemna" spelling is a mystery, apocryphal, and not regional. Weird.

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com...r-dilemna.aspx

    If anyone gets to the bottom of this, I'd love to hear it.

  9. #9
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    DILEMNA. Never even heard of the other spelling.
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  10. #10
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Microsoft auto-corrects "dilemna" to "dilemma."

    Merriam-Webster goes with "dilemma," stemming from Greek and Latin roots.

    Origin of DILEMMA
    Late Latin, from Late Greek dilēmmat-, dilēmma, probably back-formation from Greek dilēmmatos involving two assumptions, from di- + lēmmat-, lēmma assumption — more at lemma
    Dilemna is probably a corruption.
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  11. #11
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    I've never seen dilemna in my life before I clicked on this thread. It just looks like a misspelling, I don't know how that would've even come about.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?


  13. #13
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    I've never heard of it with an "n".

    I have a story of my own regarding the word "donut". I missed that on a spelling test in 7th grade and after I complained to the teacher she said that the correct spelling was "doughnut". Nowadays I do not get the red line under the word donut so when did that change? Apparently after 7 th grade or else I want my grade adjusted accordingly!

  14. #14
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I've never heard of it with an "n".

    I have a story of my own regarding the word "donut". I missed that on a spelling test in 7th grade and after I complained to the teacher she said that the correct spelling was "doughnut". Nowadays I do not get the red line under the word donut so when did that change? Apparently after 7 th grade or else I want my grade adjusted accordingly!
    I have a 7th grade doughnut story too...

    On the chalkboard menu ouside the cafeteria, they had "doughnuts" hand-written on the list. Some adolescent genius took his finger and erased the "u" and "h" from the word. Took the principal about 20 minutes to find out the semi-naughty word.

    I know its a stupid story, but it was quite hilarious at the time to us geeky nerds.

    (and yes, it was a real slate chalkboard written on with chalk, I am from the stone age)

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  15. #15
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: On the horns of a......how is that spelled again?

    Older than ORH, and never heard of dilemna. Always dilemma


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