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Decimation... <off-topic>



-----Original Message-----
From: TomHopp@aol.com <TomHopp@aol.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: donderdag 20 augustus 1998 9:01
Subject: Re: Extinction scenarios


>Nice term, decimate.  This is what virulent organisms often do, take
nine-out-
>of-ten individuals out of a populate (as smallpox did to the Native
>Americans).

One tiny off-topic comment on the verb decimate (for those - I suspect - few
of you that don't know it already): originally it did not mean taking out
9/10 of the whole, but rather the opposite (1/10). I believe it's from Roman
times where it was used as punishment (I'm not sure from memory, but wasn't
it on ships, possibly captured pirate ships in the Mediteranean?). It
consisted of putting all people in the group to punish in a row and somehow
"eliminating" (usually in a lethal way ;-)) every tenth person in the row.

Sorry about this. back to dinosaurs!
Jarno Peschier

Compass Interactive / NedStat
(ICQ: 11364879)