I picked up a flier today for the Storytellers' Club. It advertises:
Stories by comedians 'round a faux log fire.
On the back of the flier is a review from The Independent saying that they were "Unashamedly literate". I therefore can't help but wonder what that apostrophe is doing before the word round. I mean, really, do they think that round is a shortening of around? It's enough to make you 'cross.
The habit, though, is surprisingly common. I once saw an advertisement for an exhibition at the British Museum that was continuing 'til April.
So let's be very clear: round is not a shortening of around, to is not a shortening of unto and till is not a shortening of until. If you want to argue it historically (and I suspect you do), till has been around since 800, until didn't crop up ti'll 1200.
There's something shuddersome about errors such as these. To be lazy is no disgrace, indeed it's rather charming. But to pin vain apostrophes on innocent words suggests such smugness, such deluded superiority, such busy-bodied meddling that it makes you squirm.
It's worse than adding an apostrophe to [omni]bus, or [tele]phone, or [news]papers: worse because it has the same level of pedantry, but without any knowledge.
I haven't been able to look at the British Museum the same way 'since.
Not enough 'books
N.B. It is the policy of the Inky Fool never to criticise what's known as the Grocer's A'postrophe, on the basis that I've no idea how to run a shop. It is only those who really should, or claim to, know better who come in for stick.