average: ✓average ✗ medium, middle

By | October 30, 2017
average
medium, middle
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Le grandi menti parlano di idee; le menti mediocre parlano di eventi; le menti ristrette parlano di persone.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
✓ The average number of students per class is twelve.
✗ The *medium/middle* number of students per class is twelve.
Il numero medio di studenti per classe è dodici.
Medium means "in the middle" between two extremes of size, quality, quantity, number, etc. For example a medium T-shirt is between large and small. Medium brown hair is between dark and light brown. If you cook something on a medium heat, you use a flame which is neither too high nor too low. With some video games, you can set the difficulty level to easy, medium or hard. And so on.
In a precise mathematical sense, we use average:
✓ The average life of a car is fifteen years.
✗ The *medium/middle* life of a car is fifteen years.
La vita media di un'auto è di quindici anni.
✓ The average age of users is twenty-seven.
✗ The *medium* age of users is twenty-seven.
L'età media degli utenti è di ventisette anni.
Sometimes we use average not in the strict mathematical sense, for example He's of average height (we can also say He's of medium height).
We also use average with a negative meaning, "nothing special" (for example: The restaurant is expensive, but the quality of the food is only average).


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