About Rob Kyff

Rob Kyff

Rob Kyff

Rob Kyff is the language columnist for the Hartford Courant, as well as a teacher, editor and writer. His column  appears regularly in several newspapers across the country.

A native of Armonk, N.Y., Kyff earned a BA at Amherst College and an MA in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. In Minneapolis, he served as director of public information for a social-service agency and edited the employee magazine for a national retail chain.

He has taught English and history at Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford since 1977 and also served as the school's director of public affairs, editor of its alumni magazine and advisor to the student newspaper.

His essays have appeared in many newspapers, including the Washington Post,

Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe and Baltimore Sun, and his articles have appeared in Reader's Digest,American History and Northeast. He contributed to

Speaking Freely -- A guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley, published by Oxford University Press in 1997.

He has published two books: Word Up! - A Lively Look at English (Writers Club Press, 2000) and Once Upon a Word - True Tales of Word Origins (Tapestry Press, 2003).

He lives in West Hartford, Conn., with his family.


Souped Up Auto-Antonyms Peel Out Jun 20, 2018

"A grief group will help you to unpeel the layers of these interlocking relationships." After spotting that sentence in an advice column, my neighbor asked me whether "unpeel" was a word, so I took her case on a "peel." My verdict: "Unpeel" is indeed... Read More


Books To Boost Your Verbal IQ This Summer Jun 13, 2018

Whether you're headed to a jet, a jetty or a Jet Ski this summer, toss one — or more! — of these nifty books about words and language into your tote bag. Bound for England? Take along Lynne Murphy's delightful romp "The Prodigal Tongue &#... Read More


Today's Forecast: Mixed 'Precipitation' Jun 06, 2018

A recent Wall Street Journal review of James F. Simon's new book "Eisenhower vs. Warren" quoted Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren as follows: "It would be unfortunate if we had to take precipitous action that would inflame more than necessary."... Read More