I recently finished The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, a book by James D. Hornfischer about the World War II naval battle off the Philippine island of Samar on October 25, 1944, in which a tiny US task group took heavy losses while holding off a much larger -- both in number and size of ships -- Japanese force. I'd never read anything about this battle, and it was a really great story. Late in the battle, the book talks about the American escort carrier St. Lo:
- "By some impossible concatenation of independent miracles, the carrier had not taken a single hit during the battle."
I thought concatenation was an interesting word and wanted to know if it had a specific meaning that justified using a ten-dollar word.
The OED defines concatenate as "to connect like the links of a chain, to link together." So no real justification for the word, but at least it is clear from the context.
The OED etymology: From the Latin concatēnāt-, participial stem of concatēnāre, meaning to link together, from con- + catēnāre, meaning to chain, from catēna, meaning chain.