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Bored of
Posted: 16 December 2007 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The use of “of” with “bored” is starting to be noticed by those who enjoy railing against such travesties.  How far back can we date the use of “of” in the context of “bored of/with X”?  Does it pre-date Bored of the Rings?

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Posted: 16 December 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Surely does predate it. I find a number of examples in a quick glance at Google Books.

These instances are predominantly British, I think.

The earliest one I see is in a personal letter by Sir Walter Scott dated 1824, published in a collection of Scott’s letters in 1894.

The earliest one I see which appears to have been written for publication is in a (British) humorous piece dated 1867.

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Posted: 16 December 2007 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Shakespeare doesn’t seem to be boring, but he’s tired several times.  For example:
“Then should not we be tired with this ado.” - Titus Andronicus Act II Scene i

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Posted: 16 December 2007 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Why is it a “travesty”?

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Posted: 16 December 2007 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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languagehat - 16 December 2007 01:59 PM

Why is it a “travesty”?

I was being ironic.

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Posted: 16 December 2007 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I thought a “travesty” meant someone like Dame Edna Everege

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Posted: 16 December 2007 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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FWIW, two previous discussions:
bored of...
Bored with or bored of

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Posted: 17 December 2007 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The 1936 Academy Award winner for Live Action Short Film was an episode of the Our Gang/Little Rascals series called ”Bored of Education”. 

The only people IRL I know that have read Bored of the Rings read it because I loaned them my copy from circa 1983.  I have only ever seen one other copy at a bookstore about 15 years after that.  I play Lord of the Rings Online and it doesn’t seem to be well-known there either.

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Posted: 17 December 2007 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Your experience is your experience, but the book is not so obscure as you seem to think.  I have seen a copy in a bookstore within the last year or so, and Amazon has it new, so it’s still in print.

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Posted: 17 December 2007 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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When I read the “Ring” series, it consisted of three separately bound books, each with a different title, none of which was “The Lord of the Rings”. I don’t know when they were first touted as a single novel called “The Lord of the Rings” --- which I gather is the case nowadays, judging by preceding posts ---, or if Tolkien himself thought of them as a single work.

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Posted: 17 December 2007 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The latter.  Tolkien considered them a single work; it was broken up into three parts at the publisher’s insistence, to minimize the expected losses.  To do the whole thing in one volume would have raised the cost, presumably resulting in lower sales. They were already expecting to lose money; if the first volume had really tanked they wouldn’t have brought out the other two. Tolkien’s letters discuss the problem of being forced to break the story into three comparably-sized pieces and come up with titles for each of them.

I think you’ll find that the three volumes you originally read did identify themselves as the three parts of The Lord of the Rings. (Well, let me hedge and say that I believe that every American or British editions published since 1960 (with the possible exception of the Ace “pirate” edition of Fellowship) has included that information--on the title page if not on the cover.)

[ Edited: 17 December 2007 06:22 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 18 December 2007 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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lionello - 17 December 2007 12:46 PM

When I read the “Ring” series, it consisted of three separately bound books, each with a different title,

My parents had a hardback set, bound in red, which I read when I was a child - is that the edition you remember?  I shall have to check, this Christmas, if they have a first edition.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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if the first volume had really tanked they wouldn’t have brought out the other two.

My recollection is that sales were lackluster for the first 10 years or so. LOTR was originally published in 1954, but it wasn’t until paperback publication in the United States in 1965 that sales really took off. The initial paperback publication in the US was an unauthorized edition that didn’t earn Tolkien any money. Ace Books, the pirate publisher, claimed that a technicality in American copyright law meant that the work was in the public domain in the US; they eventually paid Tolkien a nominal royalty. If you have an old copy of the authorized Ballantine paperback edition, you’ll see that the cover bears a plea by Tolkien to buy this edition and not the pirated one.

I have a one-volume edition bound in red, which may be the same one that bayard remembers. It’s not a first edition, rather it dates from the 1970s.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dave Wilton - 18 December 2007 03:29 PM

My recollection is that sales were lackluster for the first 10 years or so.

Your experience is your experience, but the sales were better than you seem to think.
(Oops, I’m already in the dog house this week - I better run now!  At least I was given credit for “seem"ing to think.)

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Posted: 18 December 2007 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Myridon is right.  The sales were better than the publisher originally expected (I’m talking about British sales and the British publisher, Allen & Unwin).  Sales of the first two volumes had done well enough that a second printing of Fellowship was ordered before Return of the King was even published, and the first print run for Return was more than double what Fellowship‘s had been. 

I suppose that, contrasted to the sales figures when the Ballantine paperbacks came out in the US, and the book became wildly popular, the early sales are lackluster in comparison, but so would be those of any typical novel, or even many bestsellers.  However, the initial sales were quite good as judged by the expectations of Tolkien and his publishers.

FWIW, Wikipedia states that Bored of the Rings has been in print continuously since it was first published in 1969. Rather remarkable for a parody.

[ Edited: 18 December 2007 04:32 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 18 December 2007 10:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Bored of the Rings also sparked a whole series of similar parodies, the targets being The Hobbit, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. None of the same quality as the original, I’ll wager, but all are carrying on a long and noble tradition. (For instance, Samuel Richardson’s immensely popular novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded was answered in short and merciless order by Henry Fielding’s Shamela. To paraphrase Comic Book Man, funniest parody ever!)

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