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  1. #1
    BRENOIRONMAIDEN is offline Junior Member
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    Default Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    "What age of woman’s life corresponded with maidenhood? throughout the present study 'maiden' refers to a young unmarried woman in her teens and early twenties. As will be discussed in the first chapter, the boundaries of the phase were set at the lower end by the onset of puberty and the advent of legal responsibilities and abilities in the early to mid-teens, and at the UPPER END by consummated marriage or its expectation in THE LATER TEENS TO MID-TWENTIES."
    (Book: Medieval Maidens: Young women and gender in medieval england. KIM M. PHILLIPS)


    According to the phrase about the upper end of the age of a maiden, the author is saying that:

    A) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her late teens.
    B) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her early twenties.
    C) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her mid-twenties.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    What do you think?
    Tell us, and we'll give you our thoughts.

  3. #3
    BRENOIRONMAIDEN is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    well, I'm not sure, because at first, the author says that the maximum age is early twenties (throughout the present study 'maiden' refers to a young unmarried woman in her teens and early twenties). So when the author says "at the upper end in the later teens to mid-twenties", she is saying that the maximum age reaches the "mid-twenties"? Or in this phrase it means that the maximum age is early-twenties and does not reach the "mid-twenties"??

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    Quote Originally Posted by BRENOIRONMAIDEN View Post
    well, I'm not sure, because at first, the author says that the maximum age is early twenties (throughout the present study 'maiden' refers to a young unmarried woman in her teens and early twenties). So when the author says "at the upper end in the later teens to mid-twenties", she is saying that the maximum age reaches the "mid-twenties"? Or in this phrase it means that the maximum age is early-twenties and does not reach the "mid-twenties"??
    I sympathise with your problem.

    This seems to me to be the sort of UCLES question that made me despair when I was teaching. It has less to do with one's understanding of English than with one's guess at some fossilized Cambridge don's view of what a 'logical' thinker should be capable of working out.

    I go for C, but I won't be at all surprised if someone shows me what a moron I am.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    The author is giving a range of ages for the "end" of maidenhood. So asking if he meant late teens, early twenties or mid twenties is to ask for more specificity than the author is giving us. He is saying there is a range.

  6. #6
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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    I'll agree with five and say C, but only in the terms of medieval literature.

    Not that I read a lot of bodice-ripping romance novels in my youth, but it appears that in medieval times, back when a female's only prospect in life was to marry and bear children (women did not purposely stay single and focus on a career at the time), an unmarried woman up to age 25 would probably be considered to be a "maiden." After that age, such an unmarried female would be described as a "spinster."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Doubt! "Upper end" "Later teens to mid-twenties"

    Quote Originally Posted by BRENOIRONMAIDEN View Post
    "What age of woman’s life corresponded with maidenhood? throughout the present study 'maiden' refers to a young unmarried woman in her teens and early twenties. As will be discussed in the first chapter, the boundaries of the phase were set at the lower end by the onset of puberty and the advent of legal responsibilities and abilities in the early to mid-teens, and at the UPPER END by consummated marriage or its expectation in THE LATER TEENS TO MID-TWENTIES."
    (Book: Medieval Maidens: Young women and gender in medieval england. KIM M. PHILLIPS)


    According to the phrase about the upper end of the age of a maiden, the author is saying that:

    A) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her late teens.
    B) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her early twenties.
    C) The maximum age that a unmarried woman could be called "maiden" was in her mid-twenties.
    The answer is C. There's no contradiction is describing the age-group as broadly "teens and early 20s", and then defining the upper limit as mid-twenties, or 25. If the upper limit is mid-twenties, then the women will generally be in their teens or early twenties.
    However, B cannot be right. The maximum age can't be early twenties if it's been defined as mid-twenties.
    That's what definitions are for.

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