You'll also hear people say "KWON dree," but I don't recommend it. It's like saying "BAY kree" instead of "BAY kuh ree" for "bakery."
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one quandary or multiple quandaries.)
A quandary is a difficult situation in which you just don't know what to do.
How to use it:
Talk about getting into a quandary, being in a quandary or stuck in a quandary, getting out of a quandary, a quandary about something, a quandary involving something, somebody's quandary, something being such a quandary, and so on.
If you've been a "Make Your Point" reader for a while, you might recall our word "quagmire," meaning a difficult, sticky situation, like a swamp. "Quagmire" and "quandary" are close synonyms. Use "quagmire" to emphasize the sticky swampiness of your problem, and use "quandary" to emphasize a constant feeling of asking yourself "When should I do something? When should I act?" ("Quandary" is thought to have arisen from the Latin word "quando," meaning "when?".)
As my daughter is approaching her first birthday and occasionally pitching a fit when she doesn't get her way, I find myself in a quandary: do I comfort her during these outbursts, or ignore her to avoid reinforcing the behavior? Both reactions feel wrong.
A particular book that I read as a kid--all about the dread and nervousness that accompanied the main character as she procrastinated on her school project--struck such fear into me that I successfully avoided such quandaries throughout my life as a student.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "quandary” means when you can explain it without saying “dilemma” or “quagmire."
Think of a problem that took you a long time to solve because you were delayed by indecision, and fill in the blanks: "I finally shook off the quandary about (how/when/whether/who/what/where) to _____ by _____."
Example: "I finally shook off the quandary about when to leave my job by firmly setting a date on which I'd turn in my two weeks' notice."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the challenging, endlessly entertaining game; it's called Moot!
A Point Well Made:
Margaret Mitchell: “Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
1. The opposite of QUANDARY is
A. OPEN ARMS
B. CLEAR PATH
C. EMPTY NEST
2. She laid out her quandary for us: _____
A. she would work for half her usual salary if she could work from home.
B. she was considering going back to school for a better degree.
C. she loved her job dearly, but it offered none of the challenge she craved.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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