"a casual sort of way" or "a sort of casual way"?

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eric00

Senior Member
Chinese
HI everyone!
when reading the introduction of Hemingway, I met a phrase which seems odd for me. The sentence is "He liked the frank young English girl in a casual sort of way, but he was not in love with her. "
Can i say "in a sort of casual way"? If it's also acceptible, then what is the difference?
Thx so much in advance!

Eric
 
  • Nevermore

    Senior Member
    British English, England
    A casual sort of way means that the 'way' is casual. This could be written as a casual way, it's just a matter of style.
    A sort of casual way means that 'way' is only sort of/fairly casual.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    eric00 said:
    HI everyone!
    eric00 said:
    when reading the introduction of Hemingway, I met a phrase which seems odd for me. The sentence is "He liked the frank young English girl in a casual sort of way, but he was not in love with her. "
    Can i say "in a sort of casual way"? If it's also acceptible, then what is the difference?
    Thx so much in advance!

    Eric


    I agree with Nevermore, but I think it's a bit odd to use "in a sort of casual way" here. The sentence means that he more or less liked the girl, he probably had a thing for her, but it's not serious enough to be called "love".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think the difference is lyrical as much as grammatical.

    A casual sort of way is much more pleasant on the ear than a sort of casual way.

    That's not to deny the possibility of a difference of meaning.

    What way did he like this girl?
    He liked her in a casual sort of way.
    The way he liked her was very definitely casual.

    He liked her in a sort of casual way.
    The way he liked her is hard to describe, the nearest word I can find is casual, but casual is not quite right. It was really some variation on casual.

    ... which I have now realised is exactly what nevermore said in post #2:eek:

    I would be prepared to bet that the phrase simply rolled from his brain in a casual sort of way without there being any consideration of which way round to say it.
     
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