With all the relentlessly cheerful, adjective-dripping, travel missives that come across my desk, it’s refreshing to see Oregon marking a dull and boring tourism event. As in celebrating the communities of Boring, Ore., and Dull, Scotland, with a special day.
Based on their equally uninspired names, the two places already have paired on some cultural connections. Now some Oregon legislators are pushing for Aug. 9 to be declared Boring and Dull Day.
Boring, about 22 miles southeast of Portland and home to about 13,000 people, may not be the most exciting of places. But its name isn’t derived from its lack of action; it’s named after William Boring, a Civil War veteran who was an early resident.
Similarly, the tiny Scottish village of Dull is neither tedious nor dim-witted. Its name is believed to come from an ancient Pictish word for fields. Pictish, for those of us not up on our early medieval history, was the language of the Picts who once farmed and battled across the Scottish highlands.
Here’s hoping the communities’ special day will be fun, not boring or dull.
- A road sign points the way to Dull, Scotland.
(David Cheskin/PA/The Guardian)