1 Kind of is sometimes used to be deliberately vague: it was kind of a big evening; I was kind of hoping you’d call. More often it reveals an inability to speak clearly: he’s kind of, like, inarticulate, you know? Used precisely, it means ‘sort’ or ‘type’: a maple is a kind of tree. 2 The plural of kind often causes difficulty. With this or that, speaking of one kind, use a singular construction: this kind of cake is my favorite; that kind of fabric doesn’t need ironing. With these or those, speaking of more than one kind, use a plural construction: these kinds of guitars are very expensive; those kinds of animals ought to be left in the wild. Although often encountered, sentences such as I don’t like these kind of things are incorrect. The same recommendations apply to sort and sorts.