The word until can be a preposition (it took until late that evening to unload the truck, for example) or a conjunction (we kept unloading until it got dark) and for many years I believed the shortened version of this word was ’til.
Until I heard a piece on the radio a few years ago. I can’t find that now, but here is an interesting post about it from Motivated Grammar:
Why would anyone spell it till if it’s coming from until? Well, it turns out that till isn’t derived from until. Till and ’til are actually two different words with two different etymologies. Till is the earlier form, attested as early as 1330; Until is actually derived from till, not the other way around as in ’til (a backformation which showed up much later).
What you can take from this, of course, is both ’til and till are acceptable. I myself tend to use the former.
Note: A software snafu kept me from working on the computer for the last thirty-six hours, but I seem to be back in business. My apologies for the delay.
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