The way I was taught many years ago was that something like quality can be poor, but not bad.
The reasoning was that "bad" is a value/moral whereas poor applies to non-value qualities. In this case, evil people can be bad, but not poor (unless they have no money).
Is this still the case? I find more often that people use "bad" to describe most things that "poor" would traditionally be used for.
- This burger was really ____ quality.
- Wow, that chair is of ____ craftsmanship.
- Johnson handled the account ____ly, so we lost it.
- He drives so ____ly, it is a wonder how he ever passed his test in the first place.
- That barking dog is ____.
- The ____ boy broke my window.
- No one can dispute that Hitler was a ____ man.
So what about where things are less clear-cut? What's the rule of thumb?
- Wow, that's a really ____ computer you have.
- My S.O. always treats me ____ly when I forget to take out the trash.
- I hate that garage! The mechanic always does a ____ job!