Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *these kind of; *these type of; *these sort of.

*these kind of; *these type of; *these sort of. These are illogical forms that, in a bolder day, would have been termed illiteracies. Today they merely brand the speaker or writer as slovenly. They appear most commonly in reported speech, but sometimes not — e.g.: o “What’s disheartening about this, from the Lebanon point of view, is what happens next for a Lebanon team that felt it was built for these kind of challenges [read ‘this kind of challenge’].” Mike Gross, “Berks Power Chops Down Cedars,” Patriot & Evening News (Harrisburg), 6 Sept. 1997, at C1. o “It’s just that these sort of things [read ‘this sort of thing’] always seem[s] to happen to the Angels.” J.A. Adande, “Shedding His Wings,” L.A. Times, 17 Sept. 1997, at C1. o “But by making these type of incidents [read ‘this type of incident’] racial, he not only is [read ‘not only is he’] doing his player a disservice, he is failing her as a father.” Bill Stamps, “Who Is the Racist?” L.A. Times, 20 Sept. 1997, at B7. (The second correction fixes an unparallel construction.) Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to write “these kinds” or “these types” or “these sorts,” as many writers conscientiously do — e.g.: “I told my sister that setting up her own Website would allow her to propagate these kinds of activities.” Stewart Alsop, “Alsop to Publishers: Wake Up!” Fortune, 29 Sept. 1997, at 257. Language-Change Index — “these” followed by “kind,” “type,” or “sort” in the singular: Stage 2. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “The important thing is, I think, to pick up each sentence in turn, asking ourselves if we can possibly make it shorter.” Sheridan Baker, “Scholarly Style, or the Lack Thereof” (1956), in Perspectives on Style 64, 72 (Frederick Candelaria ed., 1968).
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