Which is preferred usage:

The performance features Twain giving an overview of his life up till 1896, ...


The performance features Twain giving an overview of his life up until 1896, ...

I thought it was "until" but I recently saw "till" in print, so am not sure which is preferred.


1 Answer 1


Since you asked for preferred usage there is a very clear trend in this google ngram, until is a lot more common.

As Keep these mind linked in the comments it's also correct and the safest choice.

  • I would stay away from google ngrams for any reliance upon what is "preferred" for anything as that can change in 5 minutes, unless you want what is preferred temporarily only at the current point in time. It is not very scientific or scholarly, for certain, except as a transient analysis of a current trend versus a hard-fast grammatical rule.
    – user191580
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:45
  • If that point in time is a time span of fifty years and the difference is of an order of magnitude then there is a certain reliance in that statement. After all it's data from published books, not websites, thus it does not change within five minutes.
    – Helmar
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:49
  • One of the traps in using ngrams to divine the popularity of people, ideas, or concepts is that a book only appears once—whether it’s been read once or millions of times. The Lord of the Rings is in there once, and so is some random paper on mechanics. The two texts are weighted equally. It doesn’t reflect what is people are talking about so much as what people are publishing about—and until very recently, most people didn’t have access to publishing. Like, what does this really tell you about language? Ngram is anecdotal and cannot be taken at face value.
    – user191580
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:56
  • And apologies, I was mistaken that ngrams derive some of their data from web trolling as well. I'm sure that's some other Google app.
    – user191580
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:57

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