Nonimation

No, it’s not a misspelling of “Nomination”. It’s just me wondering if the English language needs a new word.

It’s common to see the word “decimate” being used in reference to a near-complete destruction. Dictionary pedants are quick to point out that decimation actually refers to a reduction by 10% not to 10%. Clearly there’s a need for a word to describe a 90% reduction, or similar – so I’m proposing “nonimate”.

This is a tongue-in-cheek suggestion. I’m not an etymologist, so it’s probably incorrectly formed and means “by a ninth” rather than “by nine-tenths”, but then “nonodecimation” isn’t likely to catch on. The question is whether you prefer mis-use of an existing word, or misconstruction of a new one.

Anyway, I’m off to steal some apostrophes from greengrocers to stick on road signs.

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