Some verbs have senses that are somehow positive. For example, consider
protected sheltered supported
And thus the opposites of these verbs has the related negative senses:
unprotected unsheltered unsupported
On the other side, some adverbs have senses that are somehow positive. For example, consider:
fully completely perfectly
Now, when we use these positive adverbs with those verbs that have the positive senses, it sounds natural:
perfectly protected fully supported
To the contrary, when we use such positive adverbs for those verbs that have negative senses, it sounds unnatural:
perfectly unprotected fully unsupported
Is there anything unidiomatic about such usages? And, if so, how do we usually avoid them?What adverb can we use for example for “unprotected” to means “perfectly unprotected”?
In At Dawn We Slept, Gordon Prange’s definitive work on Pearl Harbor, he has some excellent quotes from military men with strongly expressed opinions.
I recall one of them describing a colleague as perfectly useless. So it’s definitely possible to use these expressions idiomatically, especially in a context where “negative” things like weakness or isolation are seen as desirable by an attacker, or by people whose thoughts run along these lines.