Majorism has roots in Europe
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Thursday 26 August 1993
Of readers' definitions of the word, shortly to appear in the dictionary, one of the most damning comes from Bruce Jerram, south London, who cites the 1933 Oxford English Dictionary to show that John Major cannot claim to have bequeathed the word. It already exists, derived from the teachings of a 16th-century German:
'Majorism. (f. Major plus ism. Opinions held by George Major (1502-74), a German Protestant, who maintained that good works are necessary for salvation. 1857 Pusey Doctr. Real Presence (1869): At the conference of Worms AD 1577 Flacius wrote to Christiern King of Denmark: 'another maintains Majorism on the necessity of works to salvation'.'
Using this as his model, Mr Jerram offers two definitions of the contemporary phenomenon. 1. 'Majorism. The opinions held by John Major (1943 - ), an English Pragmatist, who maintained that suffering is necessary for economic salvation. 1991 Major J. Interv. Mass Med. 'If it isn't hurting it isn't working'.'
2. Majorism. (f adj. Lat. major (magus/master) equals great plus sb Lat. risum equals laugh). A minor 'ism' endorsing the principle of power through transparency after John Major kept office in spite of everything. 1992 Lamont N. Interv. Black. Wed. 'This is force majeur.'
READERS are invited to devise a better definition of 'Majorism ' than the Oxford dictionary has offered. The best answer, in no more than 20 words, will win a weekend for two in Maastricht. Entries may be sent on a postcard or by fax; they should be marked 'MAJORISM'. Postcards to The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Faxes to 071-956 1435. Entries should arrive by 1 September.
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...