Many people think that history is a dull subject. Dull? Is it "dull" that Jesse James once got bitten on the forehead by an ant, and at first it didn't seem like anything, but then the bite got worse and worse, so he went to a doctor in town, and the secretary told him to wait, so he sat down and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally he got to see the doctor, and the doctor put some salve on it? You call that dull?
Happiness is often presented as being very dull but, he thought, lying awake, that is because dull people are sometimes very happy and intelligent people can and do go around making themselves and everyone else miserable. He had never found happiness dull. It always seemed more exciting than any other thing and capable of as great intensity as sorrow to those people who were capable of having it.
You see the lighted windows and what you want to think is that there may be many interesting stories behind them, but what you know is that really there are just dull, dull souls, mere consumers of food, who think their instincts are emotions and their tiny lives of more account than a whisper of wind.
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it's because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that's where phrases like 'deadly dull' or 'excruciatingly dull' come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that's dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing's pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly... but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets' checkouts, airport gates, SUVs' backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can't think anyone really believes that today's so-called 'information society' is just about information. Everyone knows it's about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace
Also she had the power of silent sympathy. That sounds rather dull, I know, but it's not so dull as it sounds. It just means that a person is able to know that you are unhappy, and to love you extra on that account, without bothering you by telling you all the time how sorry she is for you.
She knew that she had a tendency to allow her mind to wander, but surely that's what made the world interesting. One thought led to another, one memory triggered another. How dull it would be, she thought, not to be reminded of the interconnectedness of everything, how dull for the present not to evoke the past, for here not to imply there.
Alexander McCall Smith
Most of life is so dull it is not worth discussing, and it is dull at all ages. When we change our brand of cigarette, move to a new neighborhood, subscribe to a different newspaper, fall in and out of love, we are protesting in ways both frivolous and deep against the not to be diluted dullness of day-to-day living.
The way it was made we are happy with. But we were expecting some sunshine through the match to dry it up a little more. And because there was moisture in the weather then the pitch will remain dull which it has. Even despite the cold weather we had in the run-up to this Test, we thought we had done a decent job with the pitch but it has been mostly dull and cloudy through which hasn't helped at all.
The same old dumb teachers teaching the same old dumb subjects in the same old dumb school. I seem to be kind of losing interest in everything. At first I thought high school would be fun but it's just dull. Everything's dull. Maybe it's because I'm growing up and life is becoming more blase.
Truth and fact are old-fashioned and out-of-date, my friends, fit only for the dull and vulgar to live by. Appearance, not reality, is what the clever dog grasps at in these clever days. We spurn the dull-brown solid earth; we build our lives and homes in the fair-seeming rainbow-land of shadow and chimera.
Jerome K. Jerome
No one has ever explained why it is that parents and guardians consider dull people such safe matrimonial investments for their young charges. Even granting the unsound assumption that dull people are more apt to be content with their own matrimonial fetters, they are certainly more apt to be the cause of discontent in others.
Alice Duer Miller
But the more I read... after awhile... I begin to find they were all writing about the same thing, this same dull old here-today-gone-tomorrow scene... Shakespeare, Milton, Matthew Arnold, even Baudelaire, even this cat whoever he was that wrote Beowulf... the same scene for the same reasons and to the same end, whether it was Dante with his pit or Baudelaire with his pot... the same dull old scene...
Intelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs. Economic circumstances might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated. The important thing, always, was to remember who you were.
The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man-and the dogma is the drama ... The plot pivots upon a single character, and the whole action is the answer to a single central problem: 'What think ye of Christ?'... He was emphatically not a dull m an in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either.
Dorothy L. Sayers
My own experience is that the Bible is dull when I am dull. When I am really alive, and set in upon the text with a tidal pressure of living affinities, it opens, it multiplies discoveries, and reveals depths even faster than I can note them. The worldly spirit shuts the Bible; the Spirit of God makes it a fire, flaming out all meanings and glorious truths.
The swift December dusk had come tumbling clownishly after its dull day and, as he stared through the dull square of the window of the schoolroom, he felt his belly crave for its food. He hoped there would be stew for dinner, turnips and carrots and bruised potatoes and fat mutton pieces to be ladled out in thick peppered flourfattened sauce. Stuff it into you, his belly counselled him.
A laugh lifestyle is predicated upon our attitude toward the daily stuff of life. When those tasks seem too dull to endure, figure out a way to make them fun; get creative and entertain yourself. If the stuff of life for you right now is not dull and boring but instead painful and overwhelming, find something in the midst of the pain that makes you smile or giggle anyway. There's always something somewhere. . . even if you have to just pretend to laugh until you really do!
Any scientist of any age who wants to make important discoveries must study important problems. Dull or piffling problems yield dull or piffling answers. It is not not enough that a problem should be "interesting." ... The problem must be such that it matters what the answer is-whether to science generally or to mankind.
The word 'mundane' has come to mean 'boring' and 'dull', and it really shouldn't - it should mean the opposite. Because it comes from the latin mundus, meaning 'the world'. And the world is anything but dull: The world is wonderful. There's real poetry in the real world. Science is the poetry of reality.
I found that many gifted people are so afraid of writing a poor story that they cannot summon the nerve to write a single sentence for months. The thing to say to such people is: "See how *bad* a story you can write. See how dull you can be. Go ahead. That would be fun and interesting. I will give you ten dollars if you can write something thoroughly dull from beginning to end!" And of course, no one can.
...some people might think our lives dull and uneventful, but it does not seem so to us. ...it is not travel and adventure that make a full life. There are adventures of the spirit and one can travel in books and interest oneself in people and affairs. One need ever be dull as long as one has friends to help, gardens to enjoy and books in the long winter evenings.
some people might think our lives dull and uneventful, but it does not seem so to us... it is not travel and adventure that make a full life. There are adventures of the spirit and one can travel in books and interest oneself in people and affairs. One need ever be dull as long as one has friends to help, gardens to enjoy and books in the long winter evenings.