[SpamCop-Social] Re: If you were all powerful
Thu Feb 6 20:05:34 EST 2003
It wasn't me! It was Guy Macon!
> Another one that annoys me is the use of "decimate" to mean
> "utterly destroy." It means "reduce by 10%."
Uh, no, it doesn't.
"Decimate originally referred to the killing of every tenth person, a
punishment used in the Roman army for mutinous legions. Today this
meaning is commonly extended to include the killing of any large
proportion of a group."
Common usage determines meaning as common usage ends up determining
spelling. In the case of 'decimate', you have to read down to the
third definition before you find your 10% meaning but the first meaning
is "To destroy or kill a large part of (a group)."
Thus, in the future all adjectives will also be adverbs and cartooney
will be the correct spelling for cartoony. (Or, at the very least it
will be the correct spelling for it when used as a noun.)
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