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A good source for understanding the original intent of our Constitution is researching the words' etymology (history of the word). My personal authority and favorite is the Oxford English Dictionary which contains exact quotes from various published sources to better understand a word's meaning during a particular time in history. For instance, the word "welfare" found in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution meant "condition of being or doing well" first found in published form in 1303, from Old English "wel faran" fare well. Jefferson is quoted as the original source in the 1780's. When applied in a sentence such as "general welfare" at the time of Jefferson there is a slightly different meaning compared to how it is used commonly today. Today's definition "The sense of social concern or provision for the well-being of children, unemployed workers, etc." is first published in 1904. It is a corruption of the original meaning. Another illustration to help us understand how words change meaning over time can be found in the word "gay" once meaning "happy" corrupted into a meaning that describes an individual's "sexual" orientation.
3 years ago on Original intent? Understanding? Meaning?