Som (সোম)
I am boring, are you interesting in talking?
Ever see that expression or its ilk here and elsewhere? I have, far too often.

The -ing in English is a very strange beast indeed. The first two of those are firmly and solely adjectives. They describe persons or events. If used in first person, "boring" means that the speaker is tedious, monotonous, repetitive, lifeless, insipid, jejune, bland and dull. Not the ideal way to describe oneself, don't you think? Interesting of course is the antonym of boring.

The statement should of course be "I am bored, are you interested in talking?" In this case, even "talking" isn't a verb in present continuous, it is a gerund - that peculiar animal which happens to be a verb in a form that serves as a noun. Does anyone have a clue how English got to be this confusing?

(Alas, even confusing is an adjective here)
Jun 25, 2020 4:50 PM
Comments · 16
This is partly in response to the topic generally and partly to Phil's observation that "I'm bored" makes no sense pragmatically...

Whenever I see some variation of "I'm bored, are you interested in talking?" I "translate" it to "I'm bored, are you interested in entertaining me?"

That's really what someone who is bored wants, I think: to be entertained. Because a lot of modern day entertainment requires little to no effort from the receiver, this phrase becomes a red flag to me that I can't expect much effort from anyone who is bored.

I agree that saying "I'm bored" doesn't make sense pragmatically.... unless you think about it differently. Kids often approach their parents with this same statement. "Mom, I'm bored!" And when the parents instantly solve this problem of boredom, kids learn that this method works. "I'm bored!" becomes an effective and easy method to access entertainment in childhood. It does make sense for them, because it worked in the past.
June 25, 2020
Thanks Phil. Yes, I wouldn't want to spend time with someone who's either bored or boring. Incidentally thumbdowners are another boring species. What a tedious life with nothing better to do. As to this post, it's about as grammatical as I ever get. I'm the sort of guy who can't tell a moron apart from an oxymoron. Is that an oxygenated moron?
June 25, 2020
Good topic, Som; thumbs-up from me! One other thing — even using the grammatically correct “I’m bored” makes no sense pragmatically — that is, why would anyone in their right mind want to spend time with someone who is bored? In the real world, if someone is bored, it’s probably because they are boring. Or maybe posters are looking for someone who isn’t in their right mind….

June 25, 2020
I posted about this some time ago:
I'm boring! Are you interesting?

June 25, 2020
I don't know, @Som. Sounds to me like you were a little bored and wanted some people to talk to. ;)

(Ps. I upvoted the topic even before I read it. I knew exactly where you were going with it.)
June 25, 2020
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Som (সোম)
Language Skills
Bengali, English, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
German, Portuguese, Spanish