Where did the term “lazy Susan” come from? What do you call someone who hails from Michigan? How did the United States end up with regional differences in dialect? The answer to all these questions lies in the colorful history of the English language.
Teacher, writer, editor and language expert Rob Kyff — aka “The Word Guy” — is a master of words. Through his snappy weekly column, he shares grammar tips and offers history lessons on the origins of the English language and its unexpected evolution. “Mark My Words” provides handy tips on punctuation and usage, promising to elevate any reader’s writing skills. But it also puts forth quirky and spirited word games, quizzes and fun facts that will delight anyone with an interest in language.
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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