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What is the "Chunnel"

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York, United Kingdom
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What is the "Chunnel"

I know that our American cousins often refer to the channel tunnel or the Eurostar train as the "Chunnel". The BBC has an article about things the Channel Tunnel did not deliver which include rabies and ... the name "Chunnel": http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27239849

Obviously the BBC boffins don't read Steve what's his name, where I assume the continued use in the States comes from.

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

As google brings up more than half a million hits for the word it seems that some people are using it.

Kent, UK
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2. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

>>As google brings up more than half a million hits for the word it seems that some people are using it.<<

The same people who think Tower Bridge is London Bridge?

London, UK
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3. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

I think we'd all know what it means, we just don't say it.

Oxfordshire
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4. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

"As google brings up more than half a million hits for the word it seems that some people are using it"

How many from native English speakers?

All the Google hits I can see are either:

- about the weird people who use the word, and why, or

- by Americans

Southampton
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5. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

I have never heard "Chunnel" outside these fora (before now). I agree it is usually clear in the context though.

Kent, UK
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6. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

You know, I still find it amazing that you can get on a train and go to another county. I'm from a time from before the CT opened, and to go abroad we either had to go on a boat or on a plane. That's why when I have been through the CT it doesn't really feel to me like going abroad because I didn't get on a plane or a boat, just on a train. When I went to Lille last year it only felt like "abroad" when I walked around and all the signs were in French!

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7. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

I think we'd all know what it means, we just don't say it.

----

No we don't. That's the point, its meaningless. If someone asks about using the Chunnel, are they meaning Eurostar or Eurotunnel services?

Its a stupid word, that means nothing and has no practical use about from being a few letters shorter for tabloid headline writers.

Edited: 05 May 2014, 12:44
Baton Rouge
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8. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

It's not really that mysterious. When the tunnel was being built, there was a good bit of press about it, and many in the media (both in the UK and abroad) were using the term "Chunnel" to describe it. Since that time, the Channel Tunnel is barely, if ever, mentioned in the press here in the US, so when people do think about it here, it's common to go back to the "Chunnel" word, because that's all they remember it being called.

As for being a "stupid word" . . . It's a simply portmanteau of Channel Tunnel. It's not like the use of portmanteau words is unheard of in the UK. This particular one just never caught on, so it has become a source, for some, of feeling superior to the stupid Americans, who would dare use such a stupid word.

Edited: 05 May 2014, 13:06
London
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9. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

I think 'chunnel' serves a useful purpose because any thread with the word in its title acts as fly paper and draws to it all the most mysanthropic and nasty regulars, delighted at the chance to bully anyone who uses the word:-)

warrensburg,MO
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10. Re: What is the "Chunnel"

"You know, I still find it amazing that you can get on a train and go to another county"

Indeed, Bungle. I was amazed when I boarded a train in Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire to arrive at Todmorden in Yorkshire. In less time than it took my housekeeper to cook a goose.