Boring things
Do you often feel bored? Do you think school is boring? What kinds of things would make you feel bored? What would you do if you felt bored? Are you more bored now than when you were young? Have you always found the same things boring? What do you think will bore you in the future?
Vocabulary
  • Monotonous (adj.) - not changing and therefore boring.
  • Humdrum (adj.) - having no excitement, interest, or new and different events.
  • To get on someone's nerves (idiom) - to annoy someone a lot.
  • To pick up on sth (phrasal verb) - to notice something that other people have not noticed.
  • Tedious (adj.) - boring.
  • To doodle (verb) - to draw pictures or patterns while thinking about something else or when you are bored.
  • Distraction (noun) - something that prevents someone from giving their attention to something else.
  • Engaging (adj.) - pleasant, attractive, and charming
  • Unengaging (verb) - not wanting to become involved, or have contact, with someone or something.
  • To call someone on something (phrasal verb) - to point out that someone is doing something wrong.
  • To subject someone/something to something (verb) - to make someone or something experience an unpleasant or worrying thing.
  • To bore (verb) - to make someone lose interest
  • Bored to death/tears (idiom) - completely bored.
  • To appeal (verb) - to interest or attract someone.
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Questions and answers
M: Do you often feel bored?

R: Oh, I think my life is about as far from monotonous as you could get really. I mean, I do this podcast, and I teach, which is always entertaining since every day is never the same as the last. So yeah, I definitely don't worry about boredom.

M: Do you think school is boring?

R: I suppose it depends what you mean. As a teacher, I'd say it's more tiring than boring. As a student, it probably gets a bit humdrum if you're doing the same thing again and again.

M: What kinds of things would make you feel bored?

R: Well, when people repeat themselves, especially in meetings. It's not great. It really gets on my nerves, actually. I get that maybe people might not pick up on things initially. But if you just repeat the same thing again and again, then it gets pretty tedious after a while, to be honest with you. Or if conversations always have the same theme, like someone who constantly talks about themselves. Although the irony of me saying that on this podcast, where I only talk about myself is probably quite obvious, or it should be.

M: What would you do if you felt bored?

R: Well, the context is important. If it's a meeting, well, I usually try to lean forward and make it looks like I'm listening, while like, while doodling or taking notes in my notebook. And that usually does a convincing enough job of, well, like I say, convincing people that I'm not bored. If it's at a party, though, I have a very bad habit of saying that I'm bored, just announcing this out loud. Well, that's not happened in a while. But I don't think it's the best way to deal with boredom, to be honest with you.

M: Are you more bored now than when you were young?

R: I think I was bored more in the past compared to now, to be honest with you. Because, well, first of all, I couldn't do anything about it because I was a child. And when you're a child, you have less freedom of action. And now, there is a wider range of distractions to choose from. And you have the freedom of action to access them, well, now that I'm a grown-up. So I would definitely say that I used to be more bored than I am now. Definitely.

M: Have you always found the same things boring?

R: Well, I've always found unengaging people in conversations pretty boring, to be honest with you. And I always call them on it as well, because it's not that difficult to hold a conversation or to create interest. You just share something about yourself and create a space for someone to either share something about themselves, or to ask a question. And that's not hard. So I don't understand why boring people subject others to that.

M: What do you think will bore you in the future?

R: Well, anything connected to technology will always bore me to tears. It just doesn't really appeal to me. And of course, anything that Vanya has to say about me taking my job seriously, because he knows that it's hard for me. I'm sorry, Vanya. I'm not sorry, Vanya.

M: Rory, thank you for your answers!

R: It's, okay, hopefully, they weren't boring. You said that in a really flat way. Thank you for your answers!

M: Not boring at all.

R: How rude.
Discussion
R: I hope you're not bored of me. Hopefully, not.

M: No, no, no. Rory, you're kind of cute boring. You know, you're boring, but in a cute kind of way.

R: I like that. You might be boring, but you're very pretty and therefore...

M: And you're Scottish. And also this adds this little nice touch. It's like a cherry on a nice cake. Boring, cute and Scottish.

R: No, it would be boring, but cute and Scottish.

M: Nice.

R: Maybe I should put that on my profile instead. I'm going to change my Instagram profile to say that and see what happens. Boring, but cute and Scottish and modest.

M: Nice. Nice, boring, but cute and Scottish. Hmm, that's a good one. So, dear listener, we can feel bored. Right? Or we can feel boredom. Boredom is a noun. To feel bored. So I know a lot about boredom. The feeling of feeling bored. Rory used an adjective. Monotonous. So my life is far from monotonous. Monotonous is...

R: Monotonous is just like, it literally means one. It's like Greek or Latin for one tone. So it's like the same thing always, all the time.

M: Yeah. And my sound of monotonous is...

R: For me that is the sound of irritating.

M: Or you can say that my life is far from monotonous. It's quite entertaining. So that's another adjective. Entertaining. It's fun. It's full of red, full of colour, full of a Rory.

R: Each day is never the same.

M: Yeah, or it's a dull boring. Yeah? We say it's dull boring. It's really dull and boring. School could be boring. And also Rory told us it's more tiring than boring. So if you get tired, something is tiring. Right? Or exhausting. Because Rory is a teacher. Surprise, surprise. He still is working as a teacher.

R: At the time we are recording this video, yes, I am a primary school teacher.

M: Rory, you did use a good one. It gets a bit humdrum. Humdrum.

R: Yes. But humdrum is just the same thing always. Like it's very humdrum. We're just doing the same thing again and again.

M: Can I say like sometimes my days get a little bit humdrum?

R: You can.
M: So when your life gets a little bit humdrum. Yeah? Like monotonous, the same thing. You can spice it up by listening to our premium episodes. Christmas sales, you people, yeah, here, click here and check out our Christmas sales. Can we get one more sentence about this humdrum?

R: Life in the countryside can be a very humdrum existence. Or not if you're me, because I'm snowed in. Again, at the time we are recording this episode. I am snowed in. Cut off from all contacts by road with the outside world.

M: Another adjective to mean boring is tedious. A very good one. Some things are really tedious. So they are like dull boring, and for Rory, what things make him feel bored. Stupid conversations. Stupid people. When you, dear listener, are not commenting, and are not buying our premium episodes. This gets Rory...

R: No, it doesn't. But also, it's not stupid people. I don't find stupid people boring. I find stupid people entertaining. No, like, have you ever had a conversation with someone who is properly stupid and doesn't know anything?

M: Yeah, it's quite entertaining.

R: I remember one time... This wasn't me, this happened to a friend of mine. He was talking to a colleague and she was saying, oh, he was asking... No, she asked him what he's doing for this weekend. And he said, oh, I'm going to the Czech Republic. And she said, you're going to Ireland? And he said no, I'm going to the Czech Republic. That's a different country. And she was like, no, no, the Czech Republic is in Ireland, because Ireland is a republic. So they should be together. He was like what? They're two totally different countries. I should say, for those of you who don't know, the Czech Republic is now called Czechia. So maybe that's why you might not find it on a map or a modern map as opposed to an older one. But yeah, what a weird... Like, that's funny. That's not, that's not boring, that's just like, what?

M: So when you hear the same thing again and again, it could get on your nerves. So it really gets on my nerves. It's like, annoying, right? And sometimes in meetings, at work, Rory said that people may not pick up on things, right? Especially at work, in different meetings. So if you don't pick up on things, you don't understand certain things right away. Maybe you're a bit slow, or you haven't slept enough. Yeah? So I find it really boring, when people don't pick up on things. And I hate listening to the same thing over and over again. It gets on my nerves. When you feel bored, what do you do? So Rory told us that he puts his fingers on his chin. So you can put your fingers on your chin, or you can lean forward.

R: Lean in. It's so stupid. But this is why... Most people in meetings when they're bored, they sit like this. This is a very good education in cultural etiquette. So if you sit like that, watching somebody, then that's apparently rude, and it means that they can tell that you're bored. But if you sit like this, then it's much more polite. And it means you're listening to what they're saying.
M: Yeah, kind of like, this gesture, like, it kind of looks like you're paying attention and you're assessing. Like...

R: Like, yes, very interesting. When really what I'm thinking is, when can I get out of this meeting? And have a drink or go for a cigarette or something?

M: Yeah. And dear listener, when Rory is bored at a party, he just tells people that I'm bored. Can you imagine that? He's so honest.

R: It's a bad habit, you shouldn't do it. But really, I was at a party like... Oh, when was it? I think it was in August. And someone said to me, why are you sitting there on your phone when there are all these people around you? And I looked up from my phone and went, I'm really bored. I'm sorry. But I can't not be bored right now.

M: Wow.

R: And I shouldn't like, that's quite rude. But I just couldn't help myself. Nothing interesting was happening. And people were having the same conversations. And I just couldn't. So I didn't. I would like to point out that that only happens in very extreme cases. And I don't recommend anyone else does that, because it's quite rude. But, you know, on the other hand, if you don't want to be told that you're boring, then don't be boring, you know?

M: Yeah. So you can say I have a really bad habit of saying that I'm bored, when I'm at a boring party.

R: Though that hasn't happened in a while. So good use of though instead of but, hasn't happened, Perfect Tense, in a while. So it's not a bad thing to say to your examiner, I just wouldn't recommend doing it in real life. However, if you are planning to host a meeting or a party, I would like to give you some advice. Remember that one day, you and everyone else in that room will be dead, and they don't want to have wasted precious seconds of their lives, sitting in a boring meeting about nothing. So do not waste people's time.

M: Wow, that was emotional.

R: I know. That's a guiding philosophy for me. Whenever I talk to people, I'm like, right, one day, we're going to be dead. And we need to think about how to use our time constructively. And sitting blathering about things is not using your time or other people's time constructively. So don't waste people's time. It's important to them, you should respect people's lives. Like I respect yours.
M: Aw. Don't waste people's time, get our premium Christmas sales.

R: Remember one day you will be dead and you don't want to go to your grave not having listened to our sweet premium. Buy it now.

M: Oh... That was over the top. Okay? It's a little bit too much. I was bored more in the past, then, like compared with now. Right? Compared with now, I was more bored in the past. Because today, we've got a wide range of distractions. "Thingies" that distract us from our work from whatever we're doing. Instagram, social media, the N-word.

R: Every time.

M: So, different distractions, we say a wide range of distractions. And then, dear listener, Rory started saying, to be honest with you. So you can relisten to this episode, this video. And notice how many times Rory tells us to be honest with you.

R: To be honest with you. It's become a verbal tic, but it's a good thing for adding emphasis because you say like to be honest with you. And that means like the person is like, oh, this is getting real now. I need to be interested because the person is putting emphasis on what's coming next. So it's a good strategy for pronunciation and for vocabulary.

M: I've always found it boring. So with always use Present Perfect. So I've always wanted or I've always felt bored when, or I've always dreamt of buying your premium, yeah? For example. Unengaging people, right? So we have engaging people and engaging people. So we are engaging people, some people might not be engaging, unengaging. And Rory, what did you mean by saying call on them? You call them on.

R: If you call people on something, it means that you point out that they're doing something wrong or stupid. So if I'm talking to someone, and they're being very, very boring and monotonous, then I'll say, listen, this is a very one-sided conversation. And again, we want to have an interesting conversation. Presumably, this is the purpose behind why we're talking to each other. So what can we do about it? And that is called calling someone on something. It's when you say they're doing something wrong, and you're pointing out,

M: So I've always found unengaging, so boring people, boring. And I always call them on it. So I just tell them that listen, it's a bit boring, yeah? Don't you think?
R: Don't you think this is a bit boring? My best friend and I sometimes go to parties and he regularly turns around, just says to me, let's be honest, it's a bit boring here, isn't it? Then usually we leave and go somewhere more fun.

M: Nice, nice. Some things can bore you to tears. So things bore you to death. So bore is a verb, right? So I feel bored, it bores me. Bores. Rory, you told us, it bores me to tears, not to death. Well, sometimes you can say it bores me to death.

R: You can say, it bores me to tears or bores me to death. It doesn't matter which one, because you're still really, really bored at the end of it.

M: So it doesn't appeal to me. So technology doesn't appeal to me. So I don't like it. So if something appeals to you, you like it, right? So cooking doesn't appeal to Rory, shoes don't appeal to Rory.

R: Well, no cooking without a microwave doesn't appeal to me.

M: There you go. Don't start this conversation. You know you're wrong, deep inside, you know that it's just wrong to cook eggs in the microwave.

R: No, you're talking about being wrong. I'm just saying I don't care. Like my eggs in a microwave, it's fine for me. But apparently, something that I do for myself really affects other people. I know, like this is what you think, and that's okay. But I'm not cooking your eggs. There's an expression. I'm not cooking your eggs, I'm cooking my eggs. So...

M: Cook your own eggs! Right, so this boring episode isn't at all boring, isn't it?

R: I know, thank you very much for listening! And you know, hopefully, in this episode about boring things, we didn't actually bore you, we entertained. We "edutained".

M: What did you say?

R: "Edutained". Educated and entertained.

M: Oh, I see. Wow. Sophisticated. Thank you very much for listening! Hugs and joy. Thank you for being with us! Please make some comments below. When do you feel bored? Which things bore you? Does Rory bore you to tears or maybe our interesting, sophisticated and really hilarious jokes bore you? No jokes for today. Maybe we should come up with a joke. Something with boring, boredom. Bo... Boa... No, no.

R: No.

M: Yeah. Right. So...

R: See you!

M: We'll crack some jokes in the next video! Bye!
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