decimating DECIMATE

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 6 16:11:40 UTC 2008

I think the answer is that it *is *a term of art, a "geekspeak" unknown to
most speakers of English, however common it may be in discussions of signal

m a m

On Jan 6, 2008 6:31 AM, Philip (Flip) Kromer <flip at> wrote:

> I'm sorry to wander in near the tail end of this discussion, but as a
> computer geek (and not at all a word expert) I'm curious why none of
> the dictionaries I can access (OED, M-W, Bartleby, MSN) mention the
> very common
> signal-processing<>sense of decimation: 'divide a sample into, then
> eliminate a fraction of, many small slices". In addition to the
> wikipedia entry, google shows about a million hits for
> (decimation OR decimate) (sampling OR signal OR MPEG)
> It appears to be an established term of art by 1970, its first mention
> in the patent database:

The American Dialect Society -

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