All kinds of, all types of, any type...

Palabrarista

Member
Español ecuatoriano
Hi, everyone.

Are these sentences ok?

I read all types of documents.
I’m familiar with all kinds of arts.
I really enjoy reading documents about any type of artistic activity.

 
  • WriterGuy

    Member
    English - American
    This is tricky with respect to American English, since the words "type" and "kind" have been used interchangeably for a long time here in America. Strunk and White's Elements of Style, which has been one of the most popular short guides to writing clearly in American English for the past few decades, favors "kinds of" or "kind of" in all those examples.
     

    Palabrarista

    Member
    Español ecuatoriano
    This is tricky with respect to American English, since the words "type" and "kind" have been used interchangeably for a long time here in America. Strunk and White's Elements of Style, which has been one of the most popular short guides to writing clearly in American English for the past few decades, favors "kinds of" or "kind of" in all those examples.
    Thank you very much WriterGuy :)
     

    Linguoman

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Hi, everyone.

    Are these sentences ok?

    I read all types of documents.
    I’m familiar with all kinds of arts.
    I really enjoy reading documents about any type of artistic activity.

    There is another question which puzzles me.

    The wording of the first sentence seems logically wrong to me.

    1. I read all types of documents.
    I am not a native speaker of English. But the same issue exists in my native language which I find to be confusing as well.
    To my understanding, "a type of a document" is an abstract concept: Our company uses four types of documents. - There can be hundreds of documents, but the number of their types is four.

    Quite contrary, "a document of a specific type" is something concrete: I have sent you six documents of each type.

    Therefore, I wouldn't say "I read all types of documents", I would say "I read documents of all types" instead. I think, it is not possible to read a type, one can read a document of some type, but not a type of a document.

    However, "This book describes all types of documents" seems logically correct to me. But it does not mean the same as "This book describes documents of all types". The former can have 4 descriptions (if there are only 4 types), the latter can have 400 descriptions (assuming we have 100 documents of each of the 4 types).

    2. I’m familiar with all kinds of arts.
    Yes, this one makes sense to me.

    3. I really enjoy reading documents about any type of artistic activity.
    It makes sense to me as well.

    Personally, I perceive it as a matter of logic, not of a specific language. I often hear a similar wording like "I read all types of documents" in my native language as well, and every time I internally protest to accept it as a valid word usage.

    I wonder what native speakers of English would think on my comments for #1?
     
    Last edited:

    Palabrarista

    Member
    Español ecuatoriano
    There is another question which puzzles me.

    The wording of the first sentence seems logically wrong to me.

    1. I read all types of documents.
    I am not a native speaker of English. But the same issue exists in my native language which I find to be confusing as well.
    To my understanding, "a type of a document" is an abstract concept: Our company uses four types of documents. - There can be hundreds of documents, but the number of their types is four.

    Quite contrary, "a document of a specific type" is something concrete: I have sent you six documents of each type.

    Therefore, I wouldn't say "I read all types of documents", I would say "I read documents of all types" instead. I think, it is not possible to read a type, one can read a document of some type, but not a type of a document.

    However, "This book describes all types of documents" seems logically correct to me. But it does not mean the same as "This book describes documents of all types". The former can have 4 descriptions (if there are only 4 types), the latter can have 400 descriptions (assuming we have 100 documents of each of the 4 types).

    2. I’m familiar with all kinds of arts.
    Yes, this one makes sense to me.

    3. I really enjoy reading documents about any type of artistic activity.
    It makes sense to me as well.

    Personally, I perceive it as a matter of logic, not of a specific language. I often hear a similar wording like "I read all types of documents" in my native language as well, and every time I internally protest to accept it as a valid word usage.

    I wonder what native speakers of English would think on my comments for #1?
    I get what you say about the first sentence, and it's pretty interesting that we "apparently" make the same mistake in Spanish. Honestly, sentence number 1 sounds awkward to me too, but only if I say it in English. I guess I'm used to hearing this type of wording in Spanish all the time.

    Anyway, Thank you all for your helpful answers! :)
     
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