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No... I didn't ask which came first—the chicken or the egg.
As an editor, I'll be honest... I tend to change till to until most of the time. And I'm not alone.
However, the word till actually has been around much longer than until. And both till and until are legitimate and correct. They are interchangeable, but until is most common at the start of a sentence.
In the 18th century, 'til or 'till came into use as a contraction of until, but til (with or without the apostrophe) is incorrect while 'till with the apostrophe is also incorrect. It should be either till or until.
In American English, many feel till is incorrect while the word until is accepted everywhere. I tend to use till when telling time. "It's five minutes till four." I use until most other places. "I'm going to be out until seven tonight."
The word till is considered less formal than until, so in dialogue, depending on the voice of the character speaking, till might work better. Most times, I still prefer the longer version until to express the same thing.
This comes from our favorite Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty:
What other words do you find are spelled two different ways but are interchangeable?
Do you have any words you would like to see explained in a future TIPSY Today™ post?
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