Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Sat Jul 31 16:03:15 UTC 2004

The prefix un- doesn't just mean 'negative'.  It also has a meaning of
'release'. From OED online:
un-, prefix[2]
expressing reversal or deprivation
sense [...] of freeing or releasing from something.

I don't have the reference at hand, but I'm pretty sure Whorf wrote about
this use as in "unravel" = "ravel" and several other examples that I can't

-- Mark A. Mandel
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]

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