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A new word was unfeld to me
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2013/01/22
8:01pm
Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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I listen to audio books while I drive. I’m saying that so you will understand why I have never see this word written. This discussion is about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The first time I heard this word someone was opening a letter and after it came from the envelope the statement was, “When the letter was unfeld …”  I could not believe I heard this right, but I did not replay it since I was driving. I assumed that either I heard it wrong or it was another British way of talking and I soon forgot it.

A few days later, in a similar situation, I heard the word again. This time it was convenient to replay the selection so I did and found that I had heard right. They are using the word unfeld as a past tense of unfold. When I got home I tried to find it in some dictionary on the internet but I could not find this word used or mentioned in any of the results of Google.

So, I hope someone can shed light here. Is “unfeld” a legitimate word anywhere in the world? I have only heard it twice and both times it had the prefix. So if “unfeld” is a word, is “feld” also a word? I can see the logic, being that it is similar to “hold” and “held”. Does anyone know?

2013/01/22
8:16pm
Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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After I posted above, I did a different search and found 3 or 4 sites saying that “feld” is not the past tense of “fold”. I tend to agree, but why is J.K. Rowling using it?

2013/01/22
9:25pm
Robert
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google book finds some.  I think that’s what it is, past and past participle of unfold, same as unfolded.

2013/01/23
3:48am
tromboniator
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Without randomly digging through the book, I will suggest that another possibility is that you’re hearing a British pronunciation of unfurled.  Pure guesswork.

2013/01/23
4:27am
Raffee
Iran
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Tromboniator, I love your guess, but how can a letter be furled inside a letter? An extension of meaning?

 

2013/01/23
7:47am
Robert
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Furl something soft,  probably big, flowing fabrics. Fold hard or soft ,  but more cooperating things.

2013/01/23
4:09pm
Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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Tromboniator had the solution. Even though I listened to the second passage several times, I was convinced the reader was saying “unfeld.” But it was driving me crazy so I downloaded a printed text of the book and looked it up.  The man’s accent completely disguised the word “unfurled.”  Thinking about this after my discovery, I think I should have realized that everything these wizards read or write is on scrolled parchment, thus “unfurled.”  One of the passages is below if you are interested.

 

“It’s best to know what the enemy is saying,’ said Hermione darkly, and she unfurled the newspaper and disappeared behind it.”

2013/01/26
9:41am
natatorium
Milwaukee, WI
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For some reason, when Elizabeth Hurley, in “Austin Powers,” says weld instead of world, it really turns me on. Yeah, baby! 

The English have a funny way of speaking their own language.

2013/01/27
11:23pm
tromboniator
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Dick: Thanks for providing the quote. I was going to ask you if you knew what chapters unfeld showed up in, but now I don’t need to know. Gratifying to be right of course, but especially happy that the mystery is solved.

natatorium:  I’m coming to the conclusion that everybody who speaks English sounds funny.

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