23 Jul 2014

And Then Till Trouble….

For as long as I can remember I’ve used the abbreviation ’till, ‘till,  to my amazement, when I typed ‘untill’ the other day the spell chequer burst into hysterics! It be until. Would you Adam an’ Eve it!!  Man, I was shocked. So shocked was I that I did a little research which confirmed my wrongness on all counts and thus I’ve pasted it below for anyone with a passing interest. Hello? Hay! Don’t run with scissors!! One of you could at least close the door!

The case for till
It would follow that till evolved as an abbreviation of until. However, till is actually the older word, being about eight hundred years old in comparison with until’s mere four hundred years. Until came into being as a compound of till, which originally meant to—and still does in Scotland—and the Old Norse word und, which means up to.
Since till is the etymological forefather of until, it makes sense that it would be the best choice for a shortened version of until.
The case for ‘til
Using apostrophes to replace letters happens frequently in English. Think about goin’ or rock ‘n’ roll. This makes ‘til seem like a natural shortening of until. Besides, since when do we add an extra letter (the second l in till) when we abbreviate words?
The verdict
Till is generally accepted as being more correct than ‘til. According to the Associated Press Stylebook, till is the way to go. And, depending on which dictionary you use, ‘til is either an accepted alternative spelling or a spelling error. Despite some sources considering ‘til not technically wrong, it’s best to use till as all sources consider it correct.
But what about til?
If you feel you must use t-i-l, be sure to use an apostrophe at the beginning. Til with no apostrophe is always incorrect.

So there you go. Or, at least, there I go – now I know. If that was ever explained in school, I must’ve been looking out the window at the time till  the teacher got on to something of interest. Or ‘til the bell rang.

Anyhoo, right now, until I type here again I’m off to till the veg patch till it gets too dark to till at all. So ‘til the next time, ta-ta.

Oh, by-the-by. You vape? If so, you may find this open letter to Dr Chan, the Director of WHO, which will obviously be ignored, of interest.

Quote;  Jennifer Crusie.

“His sentences didn't seem to have any verbs, which was par for a politician. All nouns, no action.”

             Dorothy Parker.

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favour you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

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