Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An annoyance - edited post

For those of you who read and commented on this post, the amendment and resulting "feeling stupid" post is over at e-harlequin.

Over time, improper grammar sometimes becomes so well-used that it becomes acceptable...even deemed correct.

Take for instance, was/were. How many times do I hear, "If it was me...." No, if it were me I'd try to speak properly. Anyway/anyways is one that drives me crazy. And one that REALLY raises my hackles is 'til and till.

TILL is something you do to the ground, to prepare it for planting or to get rid of your pesky weeds between rows.

'til is short for UNTIL. However it is becoming the norm to see it spelled as TILL. If until were spelled untill, perhaps you could excuse the small lapse of the apostrophe. But it's not. I have read several books lately with the misuse and the realization that the book has gone through the author, the editor and the copy editor and no one has changed it.

What started me on this tangent? I just got my book club newsletter and saw William Shatner's book...UP TILL NOW.

It makes me want to pull my hair out.


  1. Anonymous10:27 a.m.

    Donna, you wouldn't by chance have been an English teacher, would you?
    I'm the same way. If it's dialogue between characters, yes. If it is not, then no. But it took me forever to start using contractions in dialogue even, just for that reason. It's written, right? But then I realized that natural speech isn't like that(stilted) and I relaxed. I was an English teacher and all of that was ingrained during my college years and enforced when I was teaching it.


  2. I'm not, but I did my degree in ENglish lit. I don't even mind contractions. As long as they're contracted properly! But there is a distinction between author voice and just incorrect grammar. LOL.

  3. Umm actually, it is a case of might annoy but it is correct. I was curious and went on the online etymolgy dictionary --
    and here you go -- As there is no date, it has been around a LONG time...
    till (prep.)
    "until," O.E. til (Northumbrian), from O.N. til "to, until," from P.Gmc. *tilan (cf. Dan. til, O.Fris. til "to, till," Goth. tils "convenient," Ger. Ziel "limit, end, goal"). A common preposition in Scand., probably originally the accusative case of a noun now lost except for Icelandic tili "scope," the noun used to express aim, direction, purpose (e.g. aldrtili "death," lit. "end of life"). Also cf. Ger. Ziel "end, limit, point aimed at, goal," and compare till (v.).

  4. Till is used here, but I can sympathise. I can't stand gotten - it really riles me.

  5. I got a text message from my 12 year old son yesterday and I'm considering taking the mobile phone off him. His spelling is so bad since he started using it. I know it's cool for kids nowadays to shorten words and insert numbers where letters should be (L8 for example, it took me hours to realise that this meant late. No, seriously, it really did) but it's going to cost the same amount to send a 'proper' text message as it is to send one where I feel I'm trying to crack some secret code. I had to ring him in the end, his message made no sense at all.
    This kind of stuff aggrivates me.