Ignoble Research posted the following piece concerning speech patterns that some of us rather use. I held up my hand to indicate my own guilt.
October 6th, 2018
If you ever say “kinda” or “sorta”, there’s a good chance you’ve been using ‘Pragmatic Halos’ without even knowing about it. Linguistically speaking, ‘Pragmatic Halos’ can include phrases that are not strictly true (but that are neither lies or mistakes) and which are a normal part of honest, error-free discourse.
“It is a truism that people speak ‘loosely’- that is, that they often say things that we can recognize not to be true, but which come close enough to the truth for practical purposes.”
– explained Professor Peter Nathan Lasersohn (University of Illinois, Dept. of Linguistics) in a 1999 paper for the journal Language, 75 (3): pp.522-551 which carried the first account of ‘Pragmatic Halos’ and their everyday uses.
For a more recent and specific examination of ‘kinda’ and ‘sorta’ – in the Lasersohnian sense, see: Inherent and coerced gradability across categories: manipulating pragmatic halos with sorta, Curt Anderson, Proceedings of SALT 23. (2013)
If, however, you’d like a less colloquial approach, looking at ‘kind of’ and ‘sort of’ instead of ‘kinda’ and ‘sorta’, then see : This is kind of / sort of interesting: variation in hedging in English, Stefan Th. Gries, and Caroline V. David, Towards multimedia in corpus linguistics, 2007.
Now for a test: IFF you groove on the following paragraph, you should definitely follow the above link to the paper on Pragmatic Halos. I only sorta groove on it.
5.3. MODELS AND DOMAIN MANIPULATION. Quatificational sentences can be judged true or false only relative to a particular domain of quantification, which is normally fixed pragmatically. For example, if, at the beginning of class, a teacher says 'Everyone is here, let's begin'. the first clause will normally be deemed true if everyone enrolled in the class is present and false otherwise; the sentence does not claim that everyone in the entire universe is present.