Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#32010 - 06/13/01 04:20 AM more odd press  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
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.



#32011 - 06/13/01 12:46 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
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.


#32012 - 06/13/01 01:28 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
Bean Offline
old hand
Bean  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
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.


#32013 - 06/13/01 01:34 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
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.


#32014 - 06/13/01 01:35 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 218
Brandon Offline
enthusiast
Brandon  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 218
Mountain West, USA

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

Brandon


#32015 - 06/13/01 01:49 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
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.


#32016 - 06/13/01 02:10 PM Re: Kilomate  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
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.


#32017 - 06/13/01 05:05 PM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
Bean Offline
old hand
Bean  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
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!)


#32018 - 06/14/01 01:05 AM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 87
nikeblack Offline
journeyman
nikeblack  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 87
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]


#32019 - 06/24/01 05:44 AM Re: Decimate  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,379
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah
inselpeter  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,379
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! :)



Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,877
Posts223,580
Members9,003
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
bpatterson0032, Aladitya_khan, JdawgGaming, Hiteshi, JaneJane
9003 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (wofahulicodoc), 105 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 8,876
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.012s Queries: 13 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7144 MB (Peak: 2.8467 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-05-26 22:47:21 UTC