When did English-speaking people start saying “sort of”? The phrase can be found at least as far back as 1788 – as is explained in this paper ‘History of the sort of construction family’ (presented at ICCG2: Second International Conference on Construction Grammar, Helsinki.) by David Denison FBA, Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics at the University of Manchester, UK.
Also see : The professor’s observations on counterfactual ‘may have’
[ Research research by Martin Gardiner ]