This page is for discussing the contents of Widow.
According to Wikipedia and various dictionaries, an orphan is NOT a widow at the top of the next column or page: it is the first line of a paragraph appearing on its own at the bottom of a page [or column] with the remaining portion of the paragraph appearing on the following page [or column].
So which of these definitions is correct?
And if PrintWiki is correct, what is term for the first line of a paragraph when it stands alone at the bottom of a page or column?
I asked Frank Romano to provide clarification. The original definitions for Widow and Orphan come from his Encyclopedia of Graphic Communications. Here's what Frank had to say:
The terms are used so interchangeably that I doubt that most people know the difference:
A widow is a “short line” — the last line of a paragraph that is less than one-third the width of the line, usually the carry-over of a hyphenated word.
An orphan is a line that is “left alone” — a widow at the top of a page or the first line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page. An orphan is not only a widow line.
It is this last double whammy that creates the confusion.