March 25, 2013 - submitted by Ryan, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle,

Grammatical question. On the album X&Y, track 13 is listed as 'Till Kingdom Come. The apostrophe indicates that the word has been abbreviated from 'Untill' which isn't a word. "Till" (no apostrophe) and " 'Til " appear to be the only correct ways of spelling this preposition.
One of my friends has tattooed this on her person and was a bit disappointed when I pointed out (what I believe) to be an error. I'm not sure that it's intended to be a clever rock-star misspelling of the word, possibly just a graphic artist getting a little excited.

Could you please advise?


The Oracle replies:

The track IS called 'Til Kingdom Come and therefore there is no grammatical error on the album sleeve's track listings. Unfortunately that means your friend has an incorrect tattoo.
Speaking of rock star misspelling, I recall telling the singer of Dust Junky's that his band name really ought to be Dust Junkies but he replied that it looked better his way. I suppose (band) names are ok to change but as you say 'til is the correct abbreviation.
Anchorman informs me that George Orwell and Julia Donaldson abbreviate until to till. As far as I am concerned that is the word for a cash register (amongst other things).