Bored of? No way!

It’s undoubtedly a losing battle, but consider 1) I am a retired English teacher and 2) back in 2005 I became a Grammar God!

If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be. You can smell a grammatical inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is revered by the underlings, though some may blaspheme and call you a snob. They’re just jealous. Go out there and change the world.

Mind you, the issue I am about to consider is one of usage, not grammar.

These days I keep hearing/seeing “bored of”! Unless I am mistaken, even our Prime Minister has been guilty — and that would have the late Alan Whitehurst spinning in his grave. Alan may well have been Scomo’s English teacher.

Let’s check the Oxford Dictionary site.

Which of these expressions should you use: is one of them less acceptable than the others?

Do you ever get bored with eating out all the time?

Delegates were bored by the lectures.

He grew bored of his day job.

The first two constructions, bored with and bored by, are the standard ones. The third, bored of, is more recent than the other two and it’s become extremely common. In fact, the Oxford English Corpus contains almost twice as many instances of bored of than bored by. It represents a perfectly logical development of the language, and was probably formed on the pattern of expressions such as tired of or weary of. Nevertheless, some people dislike it and it’s not fully accepted in standard English. It’s best to avoid using it in formal writing.

Hmmph! I call it a barbarism! See


Thanks to Nye Perram for posting that on Facebook.

And here’s another I definitely heard from Scomo: cereMOANie! That really seems to be galloping away! See English pronunciation of “ceremony” on the Cambridge Dictionary site. But those lefties at the ABC support Scomo on this one.

…No basis for this “correctness” was stated, other than an implication that because the variant was originally American, it was wrong.

My immediate predecessor, Irene Poinkin, didn’t understand the fuss.

“The large number of complaints the ABC receives about [ceremony],” she wrote in a 2013 note, “suggests there must have been some draconian teaching about this at an early stage in people’s schooling.”

Indeed, a common feature of complaints is the recollection of some kind of magical early-childhood injunction against ceremony with third syllable stress.

“I was taught never to ‘moan’ in ceremony,” a journalist once told me, displaying exactly the kind of blind reverence for authority that Australians aren’t supposed to possess.

Harrumph! You’ll never catch me moaning!