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:

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Beards are in at the moment. Or at they were in somewhat recently. Even if they’re not in anymore, there are still a lot more of them around than there were a few years ago. For a humble bit of facial hair, the beard has inspired a surprising number of words in the English language, though not as much as people think… Continue reading