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Re: A better way to decimate a file??

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg21378] Re: A better way to decimate a file??
  • From: Ed McBride <emcbride at>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 21:30:12 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Wybron, Inc.
  • References: <849j3v$> <84dmfv$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

> "Rob Peterson" <rob-piovere at> wrote in message
> news:849j3v$pgm at
> > I start with a list y that I need to decimate (sp?).  I've looked thru
> > the book and the only list function I can find to dump list elements
> > is the Drop[] function.  But, the best I can do is get rid of half of
> > the elements at a time.  I want to decimate this list by 16, ie I want
> > to dump 15 of every 16 entries. 

Don't mean to be anal-retentive, but the English language is something I
care about.  Decimate comes from the Latin, meaning literally to kill
every tenth man, a punishment meted out to Roman Legions that showed
cowardice, or something else regarded as unacceptable.  Yes, things were
definitely tough back then, but the Romans did conquer most of the known
world, so... Anyway, the word can be used loosely to mean inflict heavy
casualties, but I think "killing" 15 out of 16 is a bit too much.  Ed
McBride, P.E.

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