@ all this pedantry...
As a long-standing grammar pedant and member of Keith Waterhouse's AAAA (Association for the Annihilation of the Aberrant Apostrophe) I've been following this discussion with some interest.
My £0.02: most of these issues are technicalities.
- Decimate: means the loss of one tenth but, when it is misused, we all still understand the context. So I generally let this slip-up pass and don't correct it .
- Battery: without technical knowledge or analysis it is difficult to be certain how many cells are contained within a battery. Sometimes it is correct to use the term 'battery' and sometimes not: again, save the correction for when pedantry is essential.
- Aluminium: the reason we use this spelling is to ensure consistency in the periodic table with other metals. The '-ium' ending is so pervasive that consistency seems sensible.
- Apostrophes: I have never understood the problem with them; if one (or more) letters have been removed, an apostrophe shows where this contraction took place. On roadsigns, 'B'ham' has an apostrophe to show the contraction from 'Birmingham'. Alternatively an apostrophe is used to show possession (as with 'Bob's paper' equalling 'The paper that belongs to Bob'. It really is very simple!
- 'Me' and 'I': this is my personal most-hated misuse of the language - I can't stand those instances where people use 'me' when they should use 'I' (and vice versa). Simply re-read the sentence omitting any other referenced people and it's easy. If you're not sure whether 'Fred and me went to the pub' is correct, it is a lot easier to spot the correct usage when you read 'Me went to the pub'.
This debate has gone some way to show that there a great deal of people who do still care about their language. As long as people still care, the pedants among us can retain exalted status: I am sure I am not the only one consulted by the less-well-informed as to the correct usage of an expression.