DECIMATE (one more time)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Jan 6 03:50:38 UTC 2008

>The "decim" in "decimate" certainly is right there to be seen. That's
>why, for quite a long time, until I learned the history of the word,
>I assumed that it meant "reduce to one tenth" (rather than the
>"correct" "by one tenth," which, as has been pointed out by a few
>people already, isn't as often a useful meaning). As in move back one
>decimal place. I must say, history aside, that still seems to me as
>reasonable a thing for that morphemic combination to mean.

Me too.

-- Doug Wilson

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