Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 3 14:03:41 UTC 2010

At 9:55 AM -0400 6/3/10, Rick Barr wrote:
>I hope I'm not stating the obvious here, but it would seem that the word
>travesty in these cases has absorbed the negative connotations of the very
>frequent phrase "travesty of justice." People seem to clip the final two
>words and retain the negative sense of the expression as a whole.
>-- Rick

I agree.  It's a lot like the clippery reanalyses in "chili" (for the
stew) or "happy as a clam" (for "happy as a clam at high tide"), or
more prosaically "private", "general", "vacuum", "substance-free",...


>On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 10:08 PM, Jonathan Lighter
><wuxxmupp2000 at>wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>>  Subject:      travesty
>>  Earlier today the President of Plaquemines Parish described the gushing oil
>>  as "a tragedy and a travesty."  Later, on the History Channel's series
>>  _America: The Story of Us_, Donald Trump forcefully described the 9/11
>>  terrorist attacks as "a travesty."
>>  Roughly, "an outrageous happening."
>>  I've heard it a number of times before, but I can't say when.
>>  JL
>>  --
>>  "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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