Comment It's official: the English language is going to hell in a handcart and if drastic measures are not taken to halt the destruction of our beloved mother tongue then all of the efforts of Nelsonian Jack tars and Spitfire-borne officer pilots to defend this Scepter'd Isle against the forces of barbarism will have been in vain.
That, at least, is according to the chap who recently posted a (rejected) comment decrying the headline to this El Reg piece. Read on:
The Lester Haines artice with this seemingly inane heading "NZ power company decimated by rebranding madness" had no access to reply however...undaunted I have found "elsewhere" to reply!.
The word 'decimated' seems completely irrelevant to anything with in the serpentine article however I study it ..however in valiant defence against the "nouveau cretanism" in language destruction I write a protest.
My protest is against the "for free" types who have no idea of what language springs from or means; those who think that because language has changed it must forever change...even if they have no idea what it means or its correct usuage in the first place.
I refer very much to students, teachers and media since 1970 in particular..Even GW Bush, America's godhead representative, so he has told us by his actions, cannot comprehend correct English language usage. So well advised is he, that his ineptitude gives him the "I'm really very stupid" identifier of pronouncing nuclear as "nucular". What chance does anyone else onboard have in USA with such ignorence at the helm.
The word 'decimated' has been bastardised by the ignorent. It is a word with a precise meaning from a precise history applied predominently to Roman reprisal.It has other parts of speech such as '(to) decimate' (verb), 'decimated' various..'decimation 'noun', 'decimating' adjective/participle/verb and so on...
The word means...and means nothing else..."to cut down (an assembly of people, usually and army or hostages) by a tenth"...not "two tenths" or fifty percent or any other degree or number and neither 'enormously' cut down/diminished/destroyed/reduced nor "totally destroyed" , nor anything else than its singular meaning.
'Decimated' means ONLY 'cut down by a tenth' and was employed in the choosing one one person in ten for reprisals. If you want to say "his forces were reduced by 11000 of the original 15000...the term is NOT decimated.If you want to say one sand castle in 10 was flattened, the term is not decimated..its is a special word with a special history.
Please "NZ power company severely affected by rebranding madness" or some-such. Not 'decimated' !.
'For free' can be 'for nothing', 'free of charge', 'at no cost' , 'at no charge' or 'freely'.
'Free is an adjective, one can find a free seat or (set) free a person or situation but the using of "for free" where an adjective is used as a noun or as an adverb is an indication of ignorence in language.
Do lift your game, old chap....and please, also, the thousands like you.