Would you say ‘she is bored of her friend’, ‘she is bored with her friend ’ or ‘she is bored by her friend’? I have learnt today that the first option ‘she is bored of her friend’ is not an example of good writing.
Out of the prepositions of, with and by, the word of is “more properly used to indicate the relationship between a part and a whole” writes Richard Bell in his ‘Red Editing Pen’ column (Writing Magazine Jan 2011). He also adds that by is a “preposition more often used to indicate the relationship of an action”. The word with, on the other hand, shows a relationship between one thing or another or one person and another.
Consider the examples below:
- “A quarter of a pint” (good writing)
- “Two slices of pie” (good writing)
- “She is fed up with Harry” (good writing)
- “She is fed up of Harry” (not so good writing)
- “She was frightened by the roaring” (good writing)
Now it’s your turn – which sentence is an example of good writing?
- “They are bored of the film”
- “They are bored with the film”
Answers at the end of the blog…
My thoughts: It’s amazing how the smallest of words can change the whole balance of the sentence. One other point I would like to mention is that when I used to read Richard Bell’s column, I never used to be able to work out the errors that he purposely put in there (he writes three sentences each magazine issue which require editing). Today, when I got two out of three, I felt quite pleased with myself ; this writing challenge is really paying off, as I had covered the other two in previous blogs.
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Richard Bell, Red Editing Pen column (Writing Magazine, P13, Jan 2011)
Answers to test:
“They are bored with the film” is an example of good writing.