Thursday, 23 February 2012

[538] This Week's Linguistic Breakthrough

Do people use bookmarks any more? I don't. Well, I only have one, and it's consistent across all of my Internet-browsing devices. It's Oxford Dictionaries Online. True, it's for work, but it turns out that reading the digital dictionary is fun after all.

This week, I disrupted the peace and quiet of the office by enjoying a little Eureka moment of my own, where I softly screamed 'I love language!'. It was when I looked up the word 'till', as in the word often used alongside 'until'. This language note was attached:

In most contexts till and until have the same meaning and are interchangeable. The main difference is that till is generally considered to be the more informal of the two, and occurs less frequently than until in writing. Until also tends to be the natural choice at the beginning of a sentence: until very recently, there was still a chance of rescuing the situation. Interestingly, while it is commonly assumed that till is an abbreviated form of until (the spellings ‘till and ’til reflect this), till is in fact the earlier form. Until appears to have been formed by the addition of Old Norse und ‘as far as’ several hundred years after the date of the first records for till.

Mind. Blown. Believe me, the amount of arguments and discussions that I've had about this very subject has been... well, not exactly sizeable, but English students have to talk about something, right? And the 'proper' usage of 'til, until and till was a surprisingly common conversation point. Now, I know. Maniacal laugh.

Oh, sorry for the silence. I'm working on things, and blogs will be blogged in due course. Till then, why not watch some VIGIDEN?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...