Originally Posted by miceelf
I will also point out that while it's true that one side defines "child" in such a way as to include embryos and the other does not, if you say "child" to someone they are going to 999/1000 picture an actual baby, toddler, preschooler, or pre-adolescent when they close their eyes.
Sure, but we also say that a pregnant woman is "with child" or "carrying my child" or "having my baby." When we talk about a fetus, we typically say "the baby just kicked" or "what is your baby's name?" People refer to ultra-sounds as "baby pictures." etc.
(Conversely, though, if I ask a pregnant woman who has given birth twice already "how many children do you have?" she's likely to say "two, and one more on the way," not "three." If I ask a woman who had a miscarriage "how many of your children are living and how many are dead" she's likely to exclude the miscarried fetus from the count, or at least to specify them as a distinct category.)
So, it's not like either use of the word is strange, or invalid, per se
, as long as it is clear from context which definition is meant.