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Kind of and Rather or Somewhat - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Kind of and Rather or Somewhat - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Is it OK to say something is kind of true? How about sort of accurate? Not really, at least in good writing. It’s better to choose rather or somewhat.

This is one of those cases in which slang has crept into daily usage. It’s one thing to use kind of or sort of, meaning rather or somewhat, in storytelling, dialogue, and scriptwriting. In such cases, the word choices add to characterization of the speakers.

It’s even permissible in poetry or songwriting, where writers may deliberately break rules for creative effect.

But pros won’t do it in prose. It would be rather wrong and somewhat sloppy. And don’t even ask about kinda or sorta. 

Misused word pair
Created by this user
At CoolText
 Abused and misused word graphics
adapted from public domain artwork

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  1. I totally agree. I notice this all the time and it bugs me so much, even though I do it myself. I use "kind of" so much and I try not to but it's such a habit now. I also say "like" in pretty much ever sentence. Especially story telling. It's ridiculous!

  2. I do that all the time, bad, bad, bad writer. Thanks for the lesson and I will somewhat be aware of it from now on ;)

  3. But what if something is only kind of somewhat true, or barely sort of somewhat accurate? Then I would get technical and say that I am kinda/sorta down wi dat.

  4. Surely something can't be rather or somewhat true? It may be partly true though! I use 'kind of' in dialogue- because that's what people tend to say.

  5. I'm kind of bad at using kind of. Except I usually go even worse and use kinda. But I can usually delete it out of my more professional writing. ;)

  6. A good point. Informal language in narrative tends to bother me when reading. I can handle it in dialogue, but if it occurs in narrative, I'm not a fan. Thanks for the post!

    visiting from A to Z.

  7. Huh! Interesting tidbit that I wasn't really aware of. Thanks for point it out.

    Have fun with a-z.

  8. I guess it all depends on which character is doing the speaking.

  9. That's quite interesting! I always use 'kind of' even in writing, but now that I know, I'll keep a look out for it!

    Victoria from Always a Booklover


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