DILEMNA: A PROBLEMN OF IMNENSE DIMNENSIONS

I recently almost lost 1 million dollars in a bet on how you spell “dilemma”. The only thing that kept me from losing all that money is the fact that I technically do not have 1 million dollars. But it was still scary. It started when a group of us (my Prayer Room Team, to be exact – holla) were discussing some notes from a recent sermon. I commented that the word “dilemma” was spelled wrong and ha, ha, wasn’t that funny. Well! One of my astute team members, David, told me I was absolutely wrong. A team-wide argument ensued.

Sides were formed: Fran, from Florida and myself, from Ohio, were absolutely, 100% sure that it was spelled with an “n”, and David, from Minnesota, along with some others said it was spelled with a double-m. This was where the bet occurred. I was so sure that I was right so I said I would bet 1 million dollars on it. So, we whipped out the dictionary and HORROR OF HORRORS! I was wrong! Fran and I were absolutely dumbfounded!

Of course, I had to get to the bottom of this. So, I Googled it. 32,300 results on “dilemma dilemna” came back. Apparently, this is a topic that a lot of people are arguing about. In fact, it has now reached the status of an international debacle. People are weighing in from San Diego to the UK. The common source of the split seems to be that a long time ago, somewhere, somehow, someone taught the spelling wrong. All I have to say is that is one humongous blunder for a person to make. How’d you like to be that person? Your one claim to fame in your brief existence on this planet is that you blew it and taught a bunch of kids the wrong way to spell dilemma and caused a state of grammatical chaos the likes of which have not been seen since the dawn of the heated serial comma debate.

Anyways, as is obvious, this topic requires immediate attention by the entire world-wide, English-speaking community if we are to see a peaceful resolution and return to life as civilized human beings. Of course, the only reasonable action is to initiate a global funeral for the incorrect spelling and lay it to rest and get on with the mourning process. Black T-shirts will be available that say “Dilemna…we will remember” and elementary school bands will play “Taps” in unison across the earth. The only grave that is big enough for a death of these proportions is, of course, the Grand Canyon, where millions will gather to bury this expired spelling, thus filling the Canyon with dirt and eradicating one of the United States’ most beautiful natural wonders. This is a shame, but of course the alternative is Civil War. The midwest and the east coast are gearing up for the bloodiest battle to date, understandably, over such a weighty debate, with other random states choosing sides at will, causing further dissension and confusion. This is mostly true, except for the fact that I made it up right now, but that is a minor detail excusable by the undeniable signs that point to a blatant inevitability of such an event. I just hope we are prepared.

Well, I feel I’ve done my part. Support the cause! T-shirts and tickets to the Grand Canyon will be available soon through my website and countless other venues. Al Gore will probably try to do something about it. Or maybe those naked people from Sweden will show up. At any rate, remember, if someone approaches you with a shotgun and asks you which side you are on, tell them to make lemonade, not war. Wait, is that how it goes? No, tell them, if they can’t stand the heat, get out of the…no, wait, it’s make hay while the sun…oh forget it.

Another interesting post on “the Dilemma Dilemna” is here.

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  1. idhrendur

    Well, I’m glad I finally found a location for my post-societal community, becuase now I know how society will collapse.

    Which would imply to me that the whole dilemma dilemna thing is really part of Jenn/Ducky’s master plan to take over the world.

  2. Bwa ha ha ha!! Just wait until I unleash my “that vs. which” and “whom vs. who” conflicts upon your awareness!

    Oh, and the serial comma debate? Totally all my doing.

  3. Ruth

    well…for what it’s worth.. dilemma is a dutch word as well..and the meaning of it is the same as in english and..so.. yeah it is dilemma 😀 but really, you’re hilarious! 😀

  4. Aaron James

    No offense, but I’m for the double m solution. Other wise it reminds me of another “d” word with “m”, “n” and “a” in it.

    You know,”dalmatian.” What were you thinking?

    p.s. I also displayed my stance on another debate. Can you spot it?

  5. I don’t remember learning one way or another whether it was “dilemma” or “dilemna”. All I remember is that any time I tried to spell it, I would try two or three times and sit there staring at the word still thinking it looked ridiculous no matter how I spelled it.

  6. Idhrendur and Ducky – it just struck me that you two look practically identical in your pics! You two are in cahoots, aren’t you?

    Ruth! Hey there stranger! Great to hear from you!

    Aaron – you are tricky. Are you referring to the use of quotation marks? I was taught in high school to always put quotation marks outside of punctuation, as you did in your comment above. But then I learned later in life that this is correct only when dealing with an entire sentence that is a quote, and when only one word is in quotation marks, the punctuation goes outside. So for example,
    “Hello, my name is Molly.” would be right, and conversely, She said her name was “Molly”. would be right. What do you say?

    Amanda – Ug, I hate when that happens!

  7. I think Aaron was proclaiming to the world that he believes a comma should NOT proceed the word ‘and’ in a series. That sly dog…

  8. I thought he was referencing the words dam, which a beaver builds and the word damn which is short for damnation and is why it has the “n”. I would have never caught the quote angle!

  9. Benjamin Wood

    i am pretty sure that you spelled dumbfounded pretty wrong!!!!!!! Next bet… you and me go!

  10. Refe – Ah yes, that it. That little series comman is hard to spot (or not spot).

    Soul pants – I’m tellin ya, he’s tricky!

    Ben – you are so WRONG!!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….it’s on!

  11. Aaron James

    Refe got it. However I often ponder about the placement of punctuation in relation quotation marks (by “often” i mean at least once) I’m with you on that one, Molly. It just looks neater if you put the punctuation inside of quotation marks.

    The real trouble I have is do periods go before or after parentheses when they come at the end of a sentence?

    Does it go. (like this)

    Or maybe (like this). As you’ve displayed above.

  12. Aaron: Definitely, put the punctuation after the parenthesis (like this). Otherwise you have a random fragmented non-thought floating around with no clear capitalization or punctuation. And putting it in a little parenthetical bubble ( ) doesn’t make it look less awkward.

    But I also vote that we put the punctuation “inside the quotation marks, like this.” Unfortunately, I don’t think the MLA gives a hoot about my vote…

  13. My favorite punctuation in the world is probably the illustrious “…”
    Is there anything it can’t do?

  14. Molly, speaking of Civil War, I want to contest my husbands comment. For anyone who didn’t go to some horribly incompetent school, it’s clearly spelled “dilemna.” I don’t care what the others think! I know I am right!

  15. Benjamin Wood

    Thats It… We all need a good case of “Someone teach me Grammer” pills.

  16. And the first dose maybe should be “How to spell grammar”… ?

    😉

    Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

  17. benjaminwood

    dangit!

  18. Word.

    Speaking of words, everyone should go and check out my blog, and check out the section on weird words. I am planning to add some every week or two.

  19. Meanwhile, the poor teacher who had the word dilemma in his notes, is nearly suicidal that the entire point of his message was lost over this word.

  20. Matthew Burnett

    I always wondered what Jesus could possibly mean by “rumors of wars.” I should’ve known that it would be some IHOP blogger with too much time on her hands.

  21. David – I dropped by and added some of my own contributions. 🙂

    Steve – I know! Poor Mike.

    Matthew – Ha! You are hilarious.

  22. Matthew – Perhaps someone should be keeping track of how many prophesies have yet to be fulfilled, and get an IHOP Blogger to tackle each one. Then maybe Jesus would come back sooner…

  23. matthew

    Susan, I’d be willing to try it, but you have to find a wine press big enough to fully show God’s wrath.

  24. idhrendur

    The other day, I found myself typing dilemna, and it reminded me of how much I miss posts from Molly.

    And yes, Jenn and I have determined we are long-lost twins seperated at birth who will one day take over the world. Never you mind that she’s Jewish and I’ve got just about everything from the British Isles mixing in my veins.

    I’m also glad to hear of the quotes thing, because I will sometimes purposefully violate what I thought was the rule.

  25. idhrendur

    And I just noticed your spelling of “dimnensions”. Is the deviation from “dimensions” intentional?

  26. matthew

    If not, that would be an imnense problemn.

  27. idhrendur

    *sigh* I just saw those now. It’s difficult being a ninja when my level of observation can be so low…

    Also, while I’m glad that the snomes have stopped eating my memory cards and FIF cds, I’m rather sad that they’ve been eating Molly’s time. I’ll have to find a new food for them…

  28. Robin Hoke

    Wow, Molly I have missed you.

  29. Yeah, where is she? She just blogged about not blogging, so hopefully, wherever she is, she’s feeling guilty for leaving us in this dilemna.

  30. Ruth

    I think the problem is that eighth day… bummer 😦

  31. Where, O where has our Molly Mo gone? Where, O where can she be?

  32. idhrendur

    I was crunching some numbers yesterday, and discovered something cool.

    It would be quite easy to have eight days in a week. Sadly, each day would have to be 21 hours, so you don’t really gain anything (except a more difficult sleep schedule).

  33. Patti

    Since the last posted comment was in September of last year I suspect my input will go unnoticed.
    I too (just now) discovered I’d been spelling “delimma” wrong. Though I suspected my spelling was correct I wanted to be sure. So I checked with Dictionay.com and entered “Dilemna”. When the word “Dilemma” was returned I decided to take my search to Google, where I found your post.
    Even though the correct spelling of “Dilemna” brought me here your use of the word anyways prompted my comment.
    Left doubting myself after this dilemna dilemma I paused a moment before correcting your use of the word “anyways” in the first sentence of your 5th paragraph.
    ANYWAY, the use of the word “anyways” in correct. Adverbs cannot be plural.

  34. Patti

    Incorrect, not in correct…… sorry!!!

  35. Patti

    It’s very late…. let me give that one more try!!

    ANYWAY, the use of the word “anyways” is incorrect.
    Andverbs cannot be used in a plural form.

    Thank you. And goodnight!

  36. Thanks Patti! I appreciate being brought into the light!

  37. I just had this conversation a week ago in my practicum, and I thought of this post. How long, oh IHOP, will you doubt the spelling of Allen Hood and his proof readers?

  38. beezdotcom

    I always appreciate seeing these sites about the dilemna dilemma. (I’m sure some of you remember the plural, dilemnae.)

    So many spelling nazis have such a vigorous memory of the validity of the incorrect spelling that I am forced to conclude this may be evidence that some of us have phase-shifted into a parallel universe. I know that the universe I was BORN into considered the proper spelling to be “dilemna” – but that is clearly not true for the universe I currently occupy.




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