It's a real DILEMNA!You've probably found this site because you're one of the millions worldwide that have always spelled the word with an 'n' as Dilemna and have been shocked to find that you are absolutely 'wrong' and it has apparently always been spelled with another 'm' as 'Dilemma'....
How Has This Happened!?
It's a mystery, and a pretty good one!
If it were an isolated incident affecting one English speaking country or a certain age group then it could easily be explained away as probably a typing error in a text book. However that's not the case... It spreads throughout the world and affects people of all generations...
(This site alone gets 30,000 visitors a year...)
The shocking thing for all Dilemna spellers is to discover that the word has always been listed in dictionaries going back hundreds of years as a double mm spelling 'Dilemma' with not even a passing reference to the 'N' spelling!
How come no one noticed that!
Surely Dilemna is the 'proper' spelling though?
Well 'Dilemma' people will point to the word itself originating from the Greek word 'lemma' which means 'propositions' or 'alternatives' and the 'di' means 2.
Then again of course that might not mean anything as there are many words that were changed when originating in another language, so it's not real proof. In any case it still doesn't explain the worldwide confusion, in fact makes it more of a mystery because there's then no explanation for millions of folk inserting an awkward silent N!
I personally well remember Dilemna being used fairly frequently in school spelling contests, for precisely the reason that the silent 'n' caught many people out! So it's certainly very clear in my mind that it was always Dilemna.
It's worth remembering that if you go back 30, 40, 50 years and more it was a lot different from today - no internet to check and so every household relied heavily on encyclopedias and dictionaries and referenced them almost daily. In those days a great deal of emphasis was placed on correct spelling - to spell something incorrectly was to show a lack of education. Communication was mainly by letter and you always double checked the dictionary before you popped the letter in the post.
So how come absolutely none of the millions of Dilemna spellers over many generations ever once spotted that every single dictionary going back 300 years or more has only ever spelled it as 'Dilemma'?
Here's a cracker of an explanation to give you pause for thought:
Many years ago scientists began discussing the possibility of 'multiple universes and dimensions'. This idea has now achieved widespread support for the simple reason that not only is it a possible explanation it's almost an inevitable conclusion because otherwise all the mathematical sums struggle to add up. For example, gravity should in theory be many times stronger than it actually is and it's postulated that the reason is that much of its power is spread over multiple dimensions or parallel universes. At the time, alternate universe enthusiast Marden Paul put forward the theory that Dilemna people had all somehow crossed over into this different 'Dilemma' spelling universe and that's why they are universally staggered to discover that not only are they wrong but there's no trace of an N spelling anywhere in the history of this universe!
I've seen many forums and blogs where the person suggesting that Dilemna is the correct spelling gets rubbished by other people who state that it's just a tiny minority of people that have been poorly educated who spell it wrongly with the 'N'. Well, here's a bit of homework for you folk - go to Google and do a search for Dilemna in their search books section... prepare to be staggered by the number of books currently in print with that spelling! (all of which will have been 'proof read' to eliminate any mistakes...)
Is there any explanation apart from alternate universes?
Well here's one 1720 dictionary where it at least gets a mention, so maybe there is some hope... (or maybe the writer was just another lost soul from our much more classy Dilemna universe?)
Anyway, whichever universe you belong to you surely must agree that DileMNa is far classier than 'DileMMa'
It's a cut and dried case, there's no Dilemna about it at all!
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