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#32010 - 06/13/01 12:20 AM more odd press
Anonymous
Unregistered


{i wasn't too lazy to search for the old one; it just was a bit lengthy and i thought folks might appreciate a fresh thread. oh, and this is an intentional crossover yart, as well....)

this just in from MSNBC, concerning the hostage crises in manila:

"Arroyo issued her latest warning to the rebels on national television, saying, “The reported murder of Mr. Sobero strengthens our resolve to decimate once and for all this cold-blooded bandit group.” [E.A.]"

yeah, well, a fat lot of good that'd do.



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#32011 - 06/13/01 08:46 AM Re: Decimate
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
To kill one in ten and disperse the remaining nine to other groups; often used as punishment for mutiny in Roman legions.

In this case they will simply round up the cold-blooded bandit group in question, line them up, have them count off by tens pick a number at random and kill every one with that number and disperse the remainder to other cold-blooded bandit groups.

I just don't see your problem here.


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#32012 - 06/13/01 09:28 AM Re: Decimate
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
To kill one in ten and disperse the remaining nine to other groups; often used as punishment for mutiny in Roman legions.

I know that is technically the meaning, but dictionaries now seem to list the commonly (ab)used meaning "severely reduce in numbers" as well. I was just commenting on this last night while someone said it on the news.


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#32013 - 06/13/01 09:34 AM Re: Decimate
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
the commonly (ab)used meaning

I suppose one could complain that it was being mis(ab)used merely by being applied to something other than a Roman legion.


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#32014 - 06/13/01 09:35 AM Re: Decimate
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA

They could be a bit more humane if they'd instead millimate, or kilomate (but not in Australia).

Brandon


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#32015 - 06/13/01 09:49 AM Re: Decimate
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Regrettably, "decimate" now seems to mean leaving only one out of ten alive. And it is often applied to inanimate objects. I saw a news item about a volcanic eruption decimating a city.


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#32016 - 06/13/01 10:10 AM Re: Kilomate
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Kill every one and 999 more for each one in the cold-blooded bandit group for good measure? Ninety-nine times out of ten, that strategy will backfire on you.


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#32017 - 06/13/01 01:05 PM Re: Decimate
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Regrettably, "decimate" now seems to mean leaving only one out of ten alive. And it is often applied to inanimate objects. I saw a news item about a volcanic eruption decimating a city.

I think it's gotten way more general than that. It is used all the time in the news (as I mentioned above) to mean something like "destroy a substantial part of". (Not that the news should necessarily be a prime source of wordly advice!)


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#32018 - 06/13/01 09:05 PM Re: Decimate
nikeblack Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 87
Loc: City of Brotherly Love, no not...
Well really, folks! You 'spect people who don't know no Latin to know how to verbiate with a Latin-root word?

tsk tsk. Latin's much to hard to learn. Requires memorization. Worse, using words correctly requires use of a (gasp) dictionary.

[grumpy emoticon emoting all over the place, with ironic smile]


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#32019 - 06/24/01 01:44 AM Re: Decimate
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
<<Regrettably, "decimate" now seems to mean leaving only one out of ten *alive*. And it is often applied to *inanimate* objects.>>

Dear wwh,

From your hand, all things wondrous! :)


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