"until"= spatial "to" ?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 6 03:03:49 UTC 2006

>I'm not sure what's correct, but I remember writing 'til on a paper in
>college in the late 70s.  My professor (it was a creative writing class)
>told me to just write "til" for until.

While, as Charlie says, "til" predated "until", there were
prescriptivists who attacked the former on the grounds that it was a
case of chopping off the ends of words like boys chop off the tails
of mice, while other prescriptivists attacked the latter on the
grounds that the extra syllable was otiose.  Can't win.

(I think both of these complaints are recorded in Dennis Baron's
_Grammar and Good Taste_.)


>On Fri, 5 May 2006, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>  Of course, that's an archaic usage; it's interesting that it
>>  may be being revived.  Or maybe it's just a hoity-toity
>>  NPRism!
>>  For some years I've been noticing, in student papers, an
>>  increasing occurrence of the adverb and conjunction TILL
>>  spelled 'TIL.  Now I'm seeing it on billboards, in
>>  headlines, and even in professionally-proofread newspaper
>>  and magazine articles.  Obviously (as my students explain)
>>  TILL is being regarded as a contraction of UNTIL (rather
>>  than its historical root).
>>  --Charlie
>>  __________________________________
>>  >Sender:       American Dialect Society
>>  >Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
>>  >Subject:      "until"= spatial "to" ?
>>  >------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >
>>  >Ivan Watson on NPR, reporting  from northern Iraq,  spoke
>>  of an area that extended from point A "until the border."
>>  >AM
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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