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In general does the phrase "[adverb] average" follow the rules of proper English? For example I asked of the water level of a forest and someone replied that it was "very average for this time of year".

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  • The answer to this question I asked previously might help you: english.stackexchange.com/questions/149540/…
    – Sanctor
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 9:01
  • I don't understand. Are you asking about "[modifier] correct" or "[modifier] average"? Commented May 29, 2014 at 15:57
  • "Very average" as opposed to "only average average"?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 19:28
  • Its intention is to say that it is “very close to the average”
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 17:38

2 Answers 2

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There is nothing wrong with the syntax adverb adjective. It is true that the expression itself does sound a bit strange but I would not consider it incorrect since the adjective average can be interpreted as "usual or typical". (Not necessary to be interpreted as "constituting a numerical average" all the time.)

[a search result from COCA for "very average"]

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I don't think so here. My meatloaf can be very average to intensify that it was neither good nor bad, but that is because my meatloaf is not statistically analyzed (yet).

Since rainfall is measured and there are statistics then adding a modifier like very is weird. The rainfall is average. The rainfall is one inch below average. Average is the dead center, you cannot have very dead center.

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