My gut tells me no, and it should be "any sort of explanation", but I just came across it in something Roger Ebert wrote.

I suppose, after all, Nicolas Winding Refn, the director and co-writer of "Bronson," was wise to leave out any sort of an explanation.

Google apparently supports my gut feeling, with lopsided search results. But can anyone explain it?

  • 2
    Well, without the article it sounds fine but it doesn't sound wrong with one either. Nov 20, 2017 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


This is idiomatic, and well-established in some varieties of English. For example, a person who feels as if his or her intelligence is being underestimated might say "what sort of an idiot do you think I am?" A person asked about the categorization of a Jackalope might very well offer the statement "it's a sort of a horned rabbit."

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