A Decimating Blow

If you’re a regular reader, you might remember me writing about the verb to decimate some time ago. The gist was, to decimate had never been used to mean destroy or reduce by 10% in English, so it was incorrect and unjustified to “correct” people using it to mean to devastate or kill a large proportion of a group of people.

And I still basically stand by that assertion. Basically… Continue reading

The (Really) True Meaning of “To Decimate”

Has anyone ever told you that you, or most people, use this word incorrectly? It’s possible, because it’s a favourite of misguided pedants.

It’s main use now is to mean to inflict heavy losses, or to almost completely destroy/defeat. It’s usually used in a military sense, as so:

Continue reading