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.

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Mixed Reviews for TV News Oct 18, 2017

I've recently noticed some intriguing linguistic trends and glitches on national evening news programs... — Missing in Action. More and more broadcast journalists are omitting the main verbs of sentences, turning their reports into mosaics of s... Read More

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Everything Is Under Con-Troll Oct 11, 2017

Have you heard the story of Cornelius "Con" Trary and his encounter with the troll? Con is a conventional, traditional guy — a tied-down cannon who thinks inside the box, pushes in all the stops, and burns his candle at one end. He likes to pla... Read More

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How Can an Exception 'Prove' a Rule? Oct 04, 2017

Q. I've been wondering about the expression "the exception proves the rule." Can you elucidate? I'd be interested in its history and some examples to clarify the meaning. — Frank Aleman, via email A. True confession: When someone asked me this ... Read More