Reader Anton Kelly wonders about the “bored of” construction being used on many sites instead of standard “bored with.”
Here are some examples of nonstandard usage on the web:
Is Robert Gibbs Getting Bored Of Being Press Secretary?
Nick Cannon ‘Bored of Being Called Mr. Mariah Carey’
Do dogs get bored of the same foods?
Bored of your desktop wallpaper?
I’m bored of Mourinho, says Ranieri
Bored of Beefeaters? Try London’s green trends tour
One contributing factor is a fondness for punning “bored” with “board” in the term “Board of Education.” There’s a 1936 Our Gang movie short with the title “Bored of Education,” and a 1946 Little Lulu cartoon with the same title. More recently, the group Brooklyn Academy has released a CD called “Bored of Education.”
Along the same punning lines, there’s an Australian website called “Bored of Studies.” Its function is to provide help for students studying for a state exam offered by the New South Wales Board of Studies.
Another pun that has contributed to the “bored of” virus is the title of a parody of The Lord of the Rings: Bored of the Rings, a 1969 paperback novel by Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney.
The internet is altering English at a tremendous rate. This process of change is accelerated by the shallow teaching of English in the schools. When, as a result of ignorance or wit, a nonstandard usage is duplicated on popular sites, its constant repetition makes it familiar. In time, familiarity paves the way for acceptance.