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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    killing a something

    The phrase "killing a something" appears to be unusual to me. It is normally either "killing something" or "killing a thing" and thus Cambridge Dictionary has made a mistake. I am not absolutely sure.

    ==============
    decimation
    noun [ U ]
    UK /ˌdes.ɪˈmeɪ.ʃən/ US /ˌdes.əˈmeɪ.ʃən/

    the act of killing a something in large numbers, or reducing something severely:
    the virtual decimation of the population through influenza.

    Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dic...?q=decimation+

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    Oxford Dictionaries defines it very clearly:

    decimation
    Pronunciation /ˌdesəˈmāSH(ə)n/ /ˌdɛsəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/
    NOUN
    1The killing or destruction of a large proportion of a group or species.


    ‘our growing hunger for fish has resulted in the decimation of fish stocks’

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: killing a something

    That's a typo for "of" or nothing.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: killing a something

    It's definitely not a typo for "of". "The act of killing of something" isn't grammatical. The word simply shouldn't be there at all. It should read "The act of killing something ...".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: killing a something

    It is a typo, and I agree it's more likely to be "the act of killing something", but while "the act of killing of something" sounds awkward as a phrase, "the killing of something" works (grammatically) as a general pattern.

    The killing of innocent civilians was deemed a war crime.
    I am against the killing of animals and all types of hunting.
    The latest eruption of violence was sparked by the killing of a local gang leader.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: killing a something

    Absolutely. "the killing of something" is fine. "the act of killing of something" is ungrammatical.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 28-Oct-2020 at 14:44. Reason: Fixed typo. Thanks.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: killing a something

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "the act of killing of something" is ungrammatical.
    Again, while I agree that the above phrase sounds odd, I don't think the pattern is ungrammatical. Consider:

    The act of killing of one's own mother is called matricide.
    Of course, it's much more natural and straightforward to simply say "The act of killing one's own mother is called matricide", but I don't think the above sentence is ungrammatical. It maybe a little awkward, but it's not ungrammatical in my opinion.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: killing a something

    Well, you're the English teacher, but I can't see a reason for throwing an extra of into that sentence.
    Not a professional teacher

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    #8

    Re: killing a something

    It is a matter of considering the possibilities instead of the typo 'a'. "Of" may not be very natural but is possible.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

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