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What are "old wives' tales"?



 
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What are "old wives' tales"? #1 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 15:45 pm   What are "old wives' tales"?
 

English Language Proficiency Tests, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #543 "English Slang Idioms (144)", question 3

Due to a trend in consumers pursuing homeopathic cures for ailments, some doctors are researching the validity of old ......... tales in the hope that some of them may be marketable as cures or treatments.

(a) hat's
(b) fairy
(c) traveler's
(d) wive's

English Language Proficiency Tests, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #543 "English Slang Idioms (144)", answer 3

Due to a trend in consumers pursuing homeopathic cures for ailments, some doctors are researching the validity of old wive's tales in the hope that some of them may be marketable as cures or treatments.

Correct answer: (d) wive's
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wive's tale is a brand new expression for me.Sing :wife-pl:wives so this means wive's tale. Why isn't wives' tale? Because wive is a verb.But I saw:old wives'tales=foolish superstitious stories.
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What are "old wives' tales"? #2 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 16:40 pm   What are "old wives' tales"?
 

As you say Kati, it should be 'Old wives' tales'. Well done for spotting it.
Old wives' tales - superstitious stories.

Old wive's tales - incorrect.

I'll report it for correction.
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to Beeeneeez #3 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 20:34 pm   to Beeeneeez
 

Dear Beeeneeez,

Thanks!

Your explanation is always very clear.

Kati
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Location: Hungary

What are "old wives' tales"? #4 (permalink) Tue Jul 27, 2010 15:33 pm   What are "old wives' tales"?
 

Yes, this was a typo - it should be wives' and it has been corrected.
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