[ADS- L] Ev idence for DECIMATE   ( 'one in ten')

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jan 8 05:30:56 UTC 2008

OK, here are a few more which I consider most compatible with
"[about] 1/10" rather than with "arbitrary large fraction" ... some
perhaps open to question. Many of these (not all) can, of course, be
explained away if one considers it natural to say something like <<He
killed a lot of them, or more.>> or <<He killed almost a whole lot of them.>>.


1866: <<... the Roman Church -- persecuted, scattered, decimated, --
worse than decimated, -- by the fierce persecution; ......


1857: <<... under which little children would be decimated, or worse
than decimated -- under which more than one-third would be slaughtered ....>>


1859: <<He does not know that many ships have their numbers nearly
decimated by death, ....>>


1855: << The poor are decimated, more than decimated, by consumption.>>


1866: <<.The letter referred to, unfairly selecting the year 1850,
when the cholera decimated Jamaica, and more than decimated the
public hospital and lunatic asylum, states that twenty per cent. of
the patients admitted into that institution died in one year.>>


1856: <<It [the plague] may be literally said to have _decimated_ the
world, even though we were to take this term as implying the
destruction of _nine_ in place of _one,_ out of ten.>>


1868: <<... because the Staff ... had been more than decimated.>>


1853: <<the aforesaid city has been almost decimated by this
frightful scourge ....>>


1855: <<It [cholera] greatly more than decimated the villages ....>>

-- Doug Wilson

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