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4 Comments

  • Hi Stan, we use till the same way as the Irish in Scotland at least where I’m from in Fife. We have a family catchphrase: come ‘ere till I kiss ye. Originally said by my animal loving niece to a field full of coos.

  • Hi my dude. First of all, till is a word that existed before the word until, and is viewed by writers of usage guides as always interchangeable with until. It is not more informal. ‘Til, however, is more informal and is not recommended in sophisticated contexts. ‘Till is widely discouraged from use at all, since the apostrophe means that it’s a shortened version of until, which implies the adding of an additional l to the end of until.

    Also, you spelled the word swapped incorrectly.

  • Thank you for your comment, Boudicca. I think some of your comments relate to differences between UK/Irish and US usage. The Oxford Dictionary, no less, describes ’till’ as more informal in a long and detailed note, and that is how it is regarded by many. This is why ‘until’ is generally preferred in formal writing. And ‘swop’ is a perfectly acceptable British spelling for’swap’, which is used in both varieties. Stan points out in his post that ’till’ is in fact a few centuries older than ‘until’, and that the form ’til is informal, while ’till is not recommended, even though it was used by George Washington.

  • Dawn: Thanks for sharing this insight on Scottish usage. I love that line from your niece.

    Boudicca: Maybe you should read the post again – you repeat several points I made in it. It’s also a good idea to look up a word in a good dictionary before you call it incorrect: swop is relatively uncommon in US English, but it’s perfectly legitimate.