Word of the Week: Channel

I know what a channel is, you say. It’s where my favourite shows are–like Castle and the Mentalist and… (oh, wait, those are my favourite shows).

Guess again.

Channel |ˈCHanl| (noun)

1 a length of water wider than a strait, joining two larger areas of water, esp. two seas.

• a hollow bed for a natural or artificial waterway.

• a tubular passage or duct for liquid.

• an electric circuit that acts as a path for a signal: an audio channel.

• Electronics: the semiconductor region in a field-effect transistor that forms the main current path between the source and the drain.

2 a band of frequencies used in radio and television transmission, esp. as used by a particular station.

• a service or station using such a band: a shopping channel.

3 a medium for communication or the passage of information: they didn’t apply through the proper channels.

ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French chanel, from Latin canalis ‘pipe, groove, channel,’ from canna ‘reed’ 

Did you make it all the way through the definition?  That was the short version.  We didn’t even get into channel, the verb.

Why use this simple word as Word of the Week?  The Hymn book.  I am leading singing at church this week, and one of the hymns is called “Channels Only”.  As a kid this was a bit confusing to me, as channels were something to be flipped between on TV.  Whereas, the song is about being a channel (a path, a vessel) for God to work through.  So, there you go.  Should you ever sing that song, you know what it means.

As always, credit goes to the dictionary on my Macbook.  Macbook Dictionary, you’re my friend.  Also, consultations were made with my other friend, Merriam-Webster.

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