We all like to be in the right, don’t we? So, when you come across something that you believe is very wrong and what’s more, large portions of the world agree with it, you have a dilemna. At least, I did the other day. However, the rest of the world, or that portion that disagreed with me, had a different problem. They all had a dilemma.
But…how could this be? Of all the people I asked that morning, only one person agreed with me about the spelling – my daughter. First thoughts about shared experiences disintegrated pretty quickly on closer inspection; different generations, differences in upbringing, geography and so much more when we thought about it. Not logical. My brain started to hurt at this point.
Now, you say dilemma, I say dilemna… surely no cause to get upset is there? Come on, move along there – nothing to see – and easily remedied these days, of course. One engages a smug and knowing grin and turns casually to the OED to prove your case. However, one will have to turn back ten seconds later in a somewhat more agitated mode when no mention of the “n” version is seen in its hallowed pages. I actually started to question my memory at this point, but immediately discarded that idea. I had heard it for years, used it for years and seen it written down many times over those years. I had always thought it a beautiful word. Had the world gone mad?
I started to ask around. Would people of earlier generations have spelt it with an “n?” My mother, 86, didn’t and furthermore, hadn’t ever heard of my spelling either. Others of that generation said the [...]