Bored With and Bored Of

Thinkpad

Senior Member
Thai
I'm reading this passage:

At one point the other mother says of Coraline's real parents: "If they have left you, Coraline, it must be because they became bored with you," to which Coraline replies stoutly: "They weren't bored of me." With and of: the words catch their two voices exactly. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/aug/31/booksforchildrenandteenagers.neilgaiman)

I'm wondering why 'bored with' is different from 'bored of'. I guess that 'bored with' means that Coraline makes her parents bored; and 'bored of' means that the parents become bored of Coraline by themselves.

Am I understanding it right?

Thanks :D
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    No, there is no such distinction: they mean the same thing. There is a prior thread on this topic here, and the usages are widely discussed on linguistic sites on the web (here is one good example).

    "Bored of" is considered by many authorities and speakers to be "incorrect". However, it is widely used. It might be fairer to consider "bored of" as informal, and to prefer "bored with" in more formal speech and writing (while noting that some speakers wish to avoid "bored of" in all circumstances).
     

    Thinkpad

    Senior Member
    Thai
    Thank you very much :D

    It seems I totally misunderstood the passage. Is the writer saying that the author of Coraline chose the right kinds of language for each character? Coraline is a kid. So, she speaks 'bored of'.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Thank you very much :D

    It seems I totally misunderstood the passage. Is the writer saying that the author of Coraline chose the right kinds of language for each character? Coraline is a kid. So, she speaks 'bored of'.
    Yes, I think so. The mother also says "became" which is more formal (Coraline would probably have said "because they got bored of you").
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm one of those who find "bored of" jarring and totally wrong (but don't mind Coraline's saying it, since she's a kid). I believe it may have stemmed from confusion with "tired of" (which is of course correct)—an assumption that since "bored with" and "tired of" mean the same in many situations, they can exchange prepositions. One of these days, we may start hearing that people are "tired with". (I hope not.)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top