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    #1

    double = fold in two or unfold?

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the opposite interpretations of the word “double” by two English writers in the following two sentences?

    Joan and I slept in the living room on a bed that doubled as a sofa during the day. (Evan Hunter).

    The living room was so narrow that when we opened up the day coach that doubled as bed, you couldn’t get through the room without climbing over it. (Willian A. Nolen).

    double = fold in two/ fold in half, double up in the former sentence
    double = unfold, spread put, stretch in the latter sentence

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: double = fold in two or unfold?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the opposite interpretations of the word “double” by two English writers in the following two sentences?

    Joan and I slept in the living room on a bed that doubled as a sofa during the day. (Evan Hunter).

    The living room was so narrow that when we opened up the day coach that doubled as bed, you couldn’t get through the room without climbing over it. (Willian A. Nolen).

    double = fold in two/ fold in half, double up in the former sentence
    double = unfold, spread put, stretch in the latter sentence

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Double is rarely used in English to denote folding or unfolding. Those cases are cinema metaphors: A double plays a second part, or is the second person who plays a part, such as a stuntman or body double.

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    #3

    Re: double = fold in two or unfold?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the opposite interpretations of the word “double” by two English writers in the following two sentences?

    Joan and I slept in the living room on a bed that doubled as a sofa during the day. (Evan Hunter).

    The living room was so narrow that when we opened up the day coach that doubled as bed, you couldn’t get through the room without climbing over it. (Willian A. Nolen).

    double = fold in two/ fold in half, double up in the former sentence
    double = unfold, spread put, stretch in the latter sentence

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    In those sentences "double" does not mean folding or stretching. It means having two uses or performing two functions.

    double v...to serve an additional purpose or perform an additional duty. (Merriam Webster's)

    His main job is being a cameraman, but he sometimes doubles as a reporter.

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    #4

    Re: double = fold in two or unfold?

    Hi conungursvia and 2006,

    Thank you for your identical explanatory notes.

    I was misled by the following “double” (ambiguous) interpretations of the term in question:
    double (v) = to make twice as great; to fold in two; to be increased twofold; to turn sharply or all the way around; to make or become twice as great; to bend together or make a crease in so that one part lies over another

    double (adv.) = in two: bent double

    double: Definition, Synonyms from Answers.com

    Thank you again for your insight and subtlety.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: double = fold in two or unfold?

    Ah, but "twofold" doesn't mean "fold in two" but fold has its origins in the Teutonic root "full".

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