til conjunction Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes

what is til

Whether you’re browsing your social media timeline or you’re a regular Reddit user, you will encounter the abbreviation TIL at some point. TIL stands for “Today I Learned” and usually comes before a fun fact. Alanna Madden is a freelance writer and editor from Portland, Oregon. Alanna specializes in data and news reporting and enjoys writing about art, culture, and STEM-related topics. Additionally, Google Books Ngram Viewer shows that “till” has maintained popularity over “til” since the 16th century, whereas “until” surpassed their frequency in the three centuries later. If you can believe it, the spelling of ‘til (single l with an apostrophe) didn’t enter the picture until the 20th century.

‘Til and till are acceptable synonyms of “until,” although till is standard and ‘til is informal. Always avoid the spelling of ‘till (apostrophe and two l’s). TIL can be used in a couple of different ways in different circumstances since it has two different meanings. The first meaning is “today I learned.” In the below example, the acronym TIL will be used to stand for “today I learned.” Here, Jason shares a fun fact with his friend Maia. There are many different words and phrases that one can use in place of the word til, used as an abbreviation for the word until. Additionally, till is a synonym of until, not an abbreviation for it.

what is til

Until, till, and ’til are all used in modern English to denote when something will happen. Until and till are both standard, but what might be surprising is that till is the older word. ‘Til, with one L, is an informal and poetic shortening of until. The form ’till, with an additional L, is rarely if ever used today.

Every Letter Is Silent, Sometimes: A-Z List of Examples

But when it comes to til (with or without the apostrophe), English usage guides don’t share the same opinions. The abbreviation TIL can also be used as an internet acronym to stand for “today I learned,” according to Cambridge Dictionary. This slang term is often used on social media before someone shares information that they have just learned.

what is til

In this next example, Maia and Jason will both use the abbreviation til in place of the word until. If you want to convey more information to your friends or readers online, via text or in any other informal text-based communication, you can use these abbreviations. This was originally created so that Reddit members could learn interesting or little-known facts about a topic. On December 28, 2008, a Reddit user named nix0n created a subreddit called Today I Learned. According to Google Trends, TIL has been used online since at least 2004, and its use steadily increased throughout the 2010s.

Grammar & Usage

Unlike popular text and internet abbreviations, till has been used in the English language for centuries and is even older than until. On the other hand, ‘til is an abbreviated version of until that is used from time to time, but till is generally regarded as more correct. If messaging in a professional context https://www.dowjonesrisk.com/ with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, avoid abbreviations altogether. It is much smarter to err on the side of being too professional at first, and then relax your communication over time organically. Here, Jason uses the acronym TIL to stand for today I learned.

’Til and ’till are much newer words, having appeared in the language only in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively. Writers of usage guides have roundly condemned ’till as a barbarism (apparently because it seems to have added a superfluous l to the end of until). ’Til, for its part, has been deemed inappropriate in formal writing. In summary, The Word Counter advises readers to stick with “until” for formal writing and reserve “till” for informal settings. Meanwhile, use ‘til or til cautiously and avoid ‘till altogether.

  1. The form ’till, with an additional L, is rarely if ever used today.
  2. On the other hand, ‘til is an abbreviated version of until that is used from time to time, but till is generally regarded as more correct.
  3. Whether you’re browsing your social media timeline or you’re a regular Reddit user, you will encounter the abbreviation TIL at some point.

This could either be used sarcastically to express something that the person should have known long before, or it can be used genuinely to share fun  facts that other people might not know either. This phr internet slang term is popular on the forum website Reddit. According to The Free Dictionary, the abbreviation TIL can also stand for a plethora of other different meanings. However, these are far less common than using TIL as an acronym to mean “today I learned” or as an abbreviation for the word until. If you plan on using one of these secondary definitions of TIL, make sure that you provide proper context to whoever you are sending the acronym to so that they will be able to infer the meaning from said context clues.

More Commonly Misspelled Words

For example, the acronym for “too long, didn’t read” can be TL;DR or TLDR. If someone types TIL, it means they want you to pay attention, or that you may find what they’re about to say very interesting. Like most internet jargon, the expression is not suitable for business dealings.

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TIL is best used on Reddit or in personal texting, email, or online chatting. According to Bryan Garner in Garner’s Modern English Usage, the word ‘til “has no literary history as a contraction,” and the assumption of such didn’t occur until the 1980s (Garner pp. 909–910).

Other definitions for TIL (3 of

Overall, TIL can either be used as an acronym for the phrase “today I learned,” which is a popular internet slang term used on sites like Reddit, or it can be used as an abbreviation for the word until. Both of these meanings are considered very casual, and should not be used in formal or professional contexts. In said contexts, simply use the full form of the word or acronym. The word “until” is the most common and formal word to use, while Modern English permits the shortened form of till for informal writing.

Typically the context of the conversation or topic will clue you in on which meaning the person writing intends. ’Till is entirely shunned by the writers of usage guides, when they see fit to mention it at all. When tempted to use jargon in messages, evaluate who your audience is, if the context is informal or professional, and then use good judgment. If you know someone well and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviations. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship, avoid abbreviations until you’ve developed a relationship rapport.

Many people assume ‘til is the predated form of till and until, but this idea is quickly disproven by grammar experts. The preposition “till” (two l’s) carried into Old English and became synonymous with “until,” although Middle English “til” (with one l) was obscure by the late 19th century. Capitalization is a non-concern when using text abbreviations and chat jargon. Use all uppercase or all lowercase letters, and the meaning is identical. Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing.

TIL gets its name from a Reddit site subreddit called Today I Learned, where visitors learn something new through posts made by other Reddit users. Reddit members use TIL in the titles of their postings when they discover something fascinating, something that contradicts common knowledge, or a fact that is particularly important and of interest to readers. It’s also common to see TIL used in the comments section on Reddit when a user wants to express that an article or someone else’s comment was new information to them. Now that we understand the background and definitions of till and til, it’s time to peak at how these spellings exist in published writing.


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