I have a friend who insists that he is using the expression, "to no avail" properly when he says (quite frequently), "That ticked me off to no avail", after he gets upset by something. I tried to explain to him that this is an improper use of the expression, and that a proper use would be, "I studied for the exam to no avail" (after receiving a failing grade). Another example I used was, "I dieted to no avail" (after weighing myself and discovering that despite my dieting, I had not lost any weight). Anyway, I know that I am correct in my examples but could the expression also be used in the context that my friend is trying to use it in? Thanks in advance!
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Hahahaha! very clever (and true). I googled the phrase to ensure I was using it right, it was a helpful thread.
Isn't the Internet great at keeping records of threads "to no end" in time?
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Stop that already ... Emotion: big smile

Anyways, the expression your friend uses is not properly used, although I suppose you have already let him know.
good point!. But regardless how old the first post could be, many people would enlighten of all subsequent posts for those, like me, that come to the same doubt.
Hey Anons

Why don't each of you register so that it doesn't look like there's one person who keeps talking to himself (or herself)?

(I hope my suggestion will not be "to no avail".)

Emotion: smile
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The entry before mine would be proper use of the expression. (laugh)
Yeah man...you are most certainly correct. I have a buddy like that - he gets very defensive wen I try and explaining to him, he's using a word incorrectly - I persist, to no avail.
I also wanted to ask if the word can be used in the following fashion: "The progressive control box was reset to no avail." Let me explain the context: we were having some issues at work where the propgressive jackpot was hit in a machine, but the progressive did not reset afterward. The progressive was supposed to reset to a lesser amount, but it did not. The tech on duty reset the progressive box and still did not reset. Please let me know if "TO NO AVAIL" is properly used on the aforementions sentence!


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Yes, you could say that. But to my ear it sounds a bit fancy for such a mundane and somewhat technical context.

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