In all the discussion of sending the children of welfare mothers to orphanages, it seems to have escaped attention that an immoral use of the English language is involved. An orphan has never meant anything but a child whose parents are dead. We are now asked to apply the same word orphan to a child whose parents are living. Neither in Dickens nor in any other writer or speaker of English before Newt Gingrich is there a precedent for this shocking transposition of feelings. But the Speaker of the House chose his word with craft, and knew that his coinage would answer a need of his audience.
As, under the proposed policy, children are to be snatched from unwilling mothers by order of the state, we want a way of assuring ourselves t...
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