In discussing the spelling of dilemma, I’m surprised that there was no discussion of the misuse of the word.
A dilemma presents one with precisely two alternatives. It’s a lemma of two horns. There’s also the word trilemma, if that’s what you need.
If you google dilemma, you are presented with a definition that says two or more. I don’t think this jibes with the “don’t be evil” mission statement for the company…
Or is it too late? Is dilemma spoilt, just as literally is?
…too late? Is dilemma spoilt …
If by that you are referring to the misuse concerning two vs more than two, then “way gone” is more like it from what I see, because from all I hear (and read) nowadays, all it means is “tough problem” or “predicament.”
What annoys me no ends is why don’t they just say “problem” already? Why say “dilemma” ?!!!
By the way, the spelling “dilemna” probably was hyper-spellcheck to compensate for when one failed with column, alumni, damn, etc.
I never heard of the dilemna spelling till the podcast. Google books shows lots of examples of dilemna starting in 1904 with the first examples appearing in New York State Supreme Court documents. The Corpus of Contemporary American English also shows 3 examples, including one dating to 1993 from USA Today. Who knew!
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