Shadow Minister

Some of you will know what a shadow secretary is. I did not. Wikipedia gave me the answer, but I thought I would challenge the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to which I subscribe handsomely.

First of all, you would be amazed at the number of uses of shadow the OED listed. I could spend a day analyzing them. Any nerd test should include them.  Almost at the end of the list, up came “shadow minister.”

“Designating members of an opposition party nominated as counterparts of members of the government in power holding cabinet or other offices, or the offices held, as shadow cabinet, shadow minister, shadow ministry, etc.”

Don’t know if this was first used in 1906, but below in italics is the oldest quote the OED supplied.

1906 A. J. Balfour Let. in Ld. Newton Ld. Lansdowne (1929) 354 If we are to have, as you suggest, a Committee consisting of members selected from the Front Bench in both Houses,..what we should really have would be a shadow Cabinet once a week.

I first read about a shadow minister in “History Magazine.” It is a story about Tristan Hunt MP, the shadow education secretary. A most interesting article about education. I started another blog this week dedicated to the proposition that all living things on this earth are in a common place.

You  can reach the blog at On it will be more about this article. At least by the end of the day.  “A Common Place”blog will  address articles or books I have read that encouraged me to move towards a goal of acting as if we all are in a common place. In essence, it will be a “write out loud “blog with more focus.

For all our lack of responsibility to this earth, we could call it, the” shadow earth.”  Not the same use of  “shadow” as shadow ministry other than a darker use of duplication. I did not find shadow earth on the OED.

A shadow minister I think a good design, but I do not think that of my shadow earth. When and if my use of shadow earth gets worked out, I will send my thoughts on to the OED.  Then again, it could be my shadow self is getting ahead of me.

8 thoughts on “Shadow Minister

  1. Carole Webber December 31, 2013 / 4:23 pm

    This makes me think of the childhood poem “I have a little shadow,that goes in and out with me”one of my favorites.
    I would like to be a shadow minister of those I look to for their wisdom and kindness.
    Anyone want to try out ?

    • fictionfitz December 31, 2013 / 4:27 pm

      I hope you get a taker.

  2. Carole Webber December 31, 2013 / 4:45 pm

    I thought that you would be the first to volunteer !
    Happy new year to you and Susan.need to say it now as
    we will be fast asleep at midnight.

    • fictionfitz December 31, 2013 / 4:49 pm

      Never thought I had the credentials. Thank you. As to Happy New Year, I had a five minute nap, so plan to
      stay up to 9:30. Susan and I having turkey soup and watching a movie. Happy New Year to you as well!

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions December 31, 2013 / 7:16 pm

    There are shadow lichens that I’d very much like to find.
    Your mention of the Oxford English Dictionary reminded me of a fascinating book called The Professor and the Madman, which is all about the compilation of the dictionary. I’d like to read it again.
    Good luck with multiple blogs, and Happy New Year!

    • fictionfitz January 1, 2014 / 4:33 am

      Yes, I call this this year the year of the book. Getting one done. I have to be careful not to turn it into the year of the blog. The ticker starts now! Happy 2014!

  4. irinadim January 2, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Good luck with your book and Happy New Year!

    • fictionfitz January 3, 2014 / 6:28 am

      Thank you, book for you too?

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