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25 June 2008 @ 04:42 pm
Word #20  
quandary

Pronunciation: [kwon-duh-ree, -dree]
Plural: quandaries

1. a situation from which extrication is difficult, especially an unpleasant or trying one [syn: predicament]
2. state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options [syn: dilemma]

Usage since 16th century, of unknown origin, perhaps a quasi-Latinism based on Latin quando "when", or perhaps from the Old English wandreth "adversity, perplexity", Icelandic wandr[ae][eth]i "difficulty, trouble", from vandr "difficult".

You're confronted with the quandary: do I grind things to a halt? Ideally you would, but I have better things to do than educate people.
Wentworth Earl Miller, actor