Do you know the English word “dull”? “Dull” is the opposite of “bright”. Often it means “uninteresting”. We can talk about dull weather, which means cloudy weather, probably some rain and certainly no sunshine. We can talk about a dull book or a dull lesson. And we can say that someone is dull – a dull person is probably not very intelligent, and has nothing interesting or lively or amusing to say. We have a saying in English that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Do you know someone who works all the time and never relaxes and never goes out to enjoy themselves?
-And I am sure that you all know the word “boring”. It means unexciting and uninteresting. It is a favourite word of English teenagers. If their parents suggest something to them, like “Shall we all go to the cinema tonight?”, the teenager will probably reply “boring”, because when you are 15 years old, any activity involving your parents is boring.
There is a village in Scotland called Dull. It is very small, with only a single row of houses. There is a church, but it has not been used for several years. There is a school too, but it is closed. In the past, Dull was quite interesting. It was an early Christian settlement, and there was an abbey where the church now stands. But nothing interesting seems to have happened in Dull for several hundred years, and today Dull seems to be a very dull place indeed.
Elizabeth Leighton lives in Dull. However, she is obviously not a dull person, because recently she went for a cycling holiday in America. And while she was there she discovered a town called Boring. Boring is in Oregon, in the north-west of the United States. The north west of the United States is a bit like Scotland – lots of rain, and snow in the winter. Boring has about 12,000 inhabitants, which means that it is quite a bit bigger than Dull. But is it any more interesting? It has a timbe