The dilemma continues over how to spell dilemma. Are there Catholic school teachers out there still teaching their students to spell it the wrong way, i.e., dilemna? This is part of a complete episode.

  1. techne says:

    I would like to put forth for consideration the two mathematical terms: lemma and lemniscate. ‘Lemma’ (a helping theorem) is, I believe, the source of ‘dilemma’, while ‘lemniscate’, refers to the figure 8 on its side used to indicate infinity. It would be pretty easy for anyone getting both words in a math class to come to the conclusion that they, and their spelling, were related. As for the Catholic school relationship: lemniscate, from the Latin ‘lemniscatus’, would have most certainly taken precedent (at least in my pre-Vatican II 1950s-60s generation) over the Greek origin of lemma.

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