August 20, 2014

The word "till"

Okay, I have to admit this is a decidedly minor post. But the word "till" bothers me. When I look it up, I'm told it's fine to use this spelling in the phrase "shop till you drop". But I just can't do it.

A till is the tray in a cash register. On the other hand, the use cited above is a bastardization (to my mind) of "until". And if you're going to use it that way, it seems to me it should say, for instance, "shop 'til you drop". It's a shortening of a standard word, and the way we show missing letters is to use an apostrophe in their place. Like "top o' the morning to you".

I feel so strongly about this that in Xmas Carol, I avoided the word entirely and spelled out "until" in full. It's not like I'm a super stickler for this sort of thing (well, okay, I am) but I couldn't use "till" in any of my writing. (Here on the blog, I would. Blogs don't really matter. They're kind of like gathered emails, not formal at all.)

I know you didn't need to hear about this but I wanted to tell you anyway. So there.

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