Monday, June 8, 2015

To make a travesty of the misuse of the word TRAVESTY. Huh?

This post is for native speakers of English (and naturally, my ambitious ESL readers).  Let's take a minute to look at the word, travesty.  (Now, I am guilty of the misuse of the word travesty.)  In other words, at one point I thought it mean a big, fat tragedy!  Doesn't it sound like that?  ...Well, I thought so!

But...I was wrong.  Travesty is actually NOThyperbole of tragedy.

First of all, let's take a look at the definition according to Merriam-Webster's website:

  • to make a travesty of: PARODY
  • (as a noun): something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be. 

Now, that's easy to understand!  And easy to use too...Heck, people have been using it since 1637, according to Merriam-Webster online.

Now here is a more formal definition, according to


So, the idea of a travesty of justice was used in a Clint Eastwood film when the judge decided to throw out proof the trial was based upon.  She referred to Clint Eastwood's reckless treatment of evidence as a travesty of justice.

And here is the etymology (word origin) of travesty:

Interesting, right?  Does it remind of you of any other words...?  Of course!... transvestite, someone who is disguised as a woman.

Now take a look at its negative, adjectival form and synonyms:

Untravestied?  Yep, it's a word, despite the fact that it's not in my computer's dictionary, as it is underlined in bright red.  

And finally, thank you to for its help on clarifying this.  You can click on the link here for more info or for bibliographic purposes:

Thanks for reading!

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