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Ho-Hum: Dull And Boring Are Now A Pair

The signs tell the story.
The signs tell the story.

Boring, Ore., took not-so-bold action Tuesday night.

The town in Clackamas County is now in an "unofficially official pairing" with tiny Dull, Scotland.

Yes, Dull and Boring have joined forces. As they were destined to.

According to The Oregonian, there was a unanimous vote — of the 38 residents who attended a Boring planning board meeting — to form this "Pair for the Ages," as T-shirts on sale in Boring declare.

(Side note: "Boring planning board meeting" seems a bit redundant, doesn't it?)

Don't call them sister cities, the Oregonian advises. That would denote "members of the nonprofit Sister Cities International." Dull and Boring have a less formal relationship. Basically, they'll be friends and try to raise some money off the unique partnership. They're too different in size to be "sisters." The Independent says "Boring has a population of more than 10,000, to Dull's 84 residents."

How did this come about? The Independent writes that:

"Dull, in Perthshire, and Boring forged an unlikely link when Elizabeth Leighton, who lives in Aberfeldy, near the Scottish village, was on a cycling holiday in the US. She passed through Boring, Ore., and immediately phoned her friend, Emma Burtles, a resident of Dull, with an idea to link the two communities together."

As for how the two communities got their names, the explanations are ... not exciting.

The BBC says that Dull's "is thought to have come from the Gaelic word for meadow, but others have speculated it could be connected to the Gaelic word 'dul' meaning snare." Boring, according to the Oregonian, is named for William H. Boring, an early resident. The newspaper says his great-grandson Bob Boring, 72, was all for the hook-up with Dull. "I think this is fun. Let's do it," he said.

This probably isn't a surprise either: There's a Dull & Boring Facebook page.

Back in April, Eyder previewed the Dull and Boring news: "If 'War And Peace' Was Less Than Exciting, Try A Union Between Dull And Boring."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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