Why I love words, and serendipity: “decimate”

I used the word “decimated” in an essay today, and decided to make sure it was the right word, so looked it up, lazily, on the web.  I’m using it somewhat hyperbolically in my essay, but this is among what I found:

1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of
: to exact a tax of 10 percent from <poor as a decimatedCavalier — John Dryden>
a : to reduce drastically especially in number <choleradecimated the population>
Just right.  When the word came to me, I hadn’t consciously remembered  the ten in “dec” but it is perfect.  So “decimate” is like the anti-tithe, kinda.
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