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  1. #1
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Channeling Churchill

    Last February, an article with the simple, yet provocative title, "Democracy is a Good Thing," caused a small sensation, becoming one of the most talked about and blogged subjects on the Internet in China. While hardly blind to democracy's flaws (democracy "often affords opportunities for certain sweet-talking political fraudsters to mislead the people"), the author's general approval of democracy sounded like he was channeling Churchill.

    What does channeling Churchill mean? Saying the words Churchill would say? Any history of this usage?

    Thanks a million.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Hello Ian2,

    This is new to me; but it does seem to mean "expressing the thoughts that Churchill might have expressed", i.e. acting as a channel.

    There is a similar meaning for "channeler", in Merriam-Webster.

    I presume the reference is to this comment by Churchill: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

    With luck, another member will know more about it.

    All the best,

    MrP

  3. #3
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Ian2,

    This is new to me; but it does seem to mean "expressing the thoughts that Churchill might have expressed", i.e. acting as a channel.

    There is a similar meaning for "channeler", in Merriam-Webster.

    I presume the reference is to this comment by Churchill: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

    With luck, another member will know more about it.

    All the best,

    MrP
    Hi, MrP. Glad to hear from you.
    I think your explanation is pretty convincing, as it makes sense contextually speaking. Let's wait and see if there is some background story for this.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    Hi, MrP. Glad to hear from you.
    I think your explanation is pretty convincing, as it makes sense contextually speaking. Let's wait and see if there is some background story for this.
    Thanks.
    I got the following answer from another source:


    Channeling is a person being taken over by a spirit, in this case Churchill, and vocally uttering the persons words. If you ever saw the program with Shirley Mclain and the channel she followed, you would have a better idea.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    ... the author's general approval of democracy sounded like he was channeling Churchill.
    As if Churchill's ghost were speaking through the author; the author is described as a medium: a person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living; e.g., channeling Churchill's energy.


    verb (used with object) 18.to convey through or as through a channel: He channeled the information to us.
    channel - Definitions from Dictionary.com


  6. #6
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    The meaning has become very clear now. Thank you both for your professional assistance. Have a good summer.

    Ian2

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    You're most welcome.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    The meaning has become very clear now. Thank you both for your professional assistance. Have a good summer.

    Ian2
    If you're happy, good. There is another interpretation. There is (in the UK) an insurance company called 'Churchill'. For some time (possibly not long enough to justify my conjecture!) it has had a advertising campaign based on the slogan 'Challenge Churchill'. The advertisements show a satisfied customer saying 'I challenged Churchill too ...'; the 'challenge' is no challenge at all, since the answer is always 'yes' (and anyone who read the Churchill web-site would know it was always going to be that).

    If 'channel' in your quote was a typo for 'challenge', it could mean that the author was just asking questions with obvious answers. Maybe not...?

    b

  9. #9
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    If you're happy, good. There is another interpretation. There is (in the UK) an insurance company called 'Churchill'. For some time (possibly not long enough to justify my conjecture!) it has had a advertising campaign based on the slogan 'Challenge Churchill'. The advertisements show a satisfied customer saying 'I challenged Churchill too ...'; the 'challenge' is no challenge at all, since the answer is always 'yes' (and anyone who read the Churchill web-site would know it was always going to be that).

    If 'channel' in your quote was a typo for 'challenge', it could mean that the author was just asking questions with obvious answers. Maybe not...?

    b
    Wow, what a conjecture! In fact, I did find some typos in the article. But in this case I still think the previous interpretation is contextually more suitable. This really tells us that language is fascinating. Thanks anyway.

    Ian2

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Channeling Churchill

    I am very surprised that there is any confusion among English speakers regarding 'channeling Churchill'.
    It is almost an idiomatic phrase to be 'channeling Hitler' if you are spouting insane bigotry or 'channeling Ghandi' if you are advocating peace or 'channeling Bush' if you make no sense at all.

    .,,
    Channelers are charlatans who deceive the dupable out of dollars by pretending to channel or act as a conduit for the spirits of the dead to converse with the living.
    The channeler claims to be like a water course simply directing the flow of the information but taking no part in the conversation. Yeah right!

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