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!