And the edits continue…
I wrote, “In a fierce, epically bloody battle, the Korean soldiers surrounded and decimated the Chinese troops.”
My editor writes, “Decimated, as you will know from your Roman research, has a specific meaning (one in ten, the punishment of a cowardly legion) and a looser, more widely used one. But since we are so close to discussions of the Roman Empire here, let’s use this word strictly. Don’t put ‘decimate’ if you mean ‘destroy,’ ‘obliterate,’ or ‘annihilate.'”
I swear, he has corrected this usage at least once in EVERY manuscript I’ve sent and I can’t seem to remember it.
Anyway, I like “obliterate.” We will use “obliterate,” just as we will avoid “lassoo.” (I also like the way he uses the royal first-person for these corrections…)