Poll: A dilemma is when you do not know which way to turn.

A dilemma is when you do not know which way to turn.

'is when' can be used in formal language.
'is when' cannot be used in formal language.

Statistics Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 358
  • Comments: 4
  • Added: June 2004

All Polls:

  • Polls: 1,059
  • Votes: 567,952
  • Comments: 4,419

Comments:

Leo Girard

I didn't know Geo. Bush had so much interest in language or so many votes.

bptr

Are you people kidding? Most voted that "is when" is ok for formal writing/ I can't believe that! They pounded that into our heads when I was in school. The definition of a word has nothing to do with time, so how could "is when" be appropriate? Come on people!!!

Nebbie

@bptr
That is your particular school. I think it's likely that it was not using common rules.
At the core, when is referring to a specific, but unknown, instance of the situation, and the situation is a dilemma, so it just barely works.

rompey

Not knowing which way to turn is not a dilemma as long as one can easily turn back, no matter when.

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