Word Study – Travesty or Tragedy?

We tend to get some words mixed up. They sound alike, they’re spelled similarly and they kinda-sorta mean the same thing – except they don’t.

Here is the perfect example:

Is the train wreck a travesty or a tragedy?

Did the court’s ruling count as a travesty of justice or a tragedy of justice?

Is the murder of a family a travesty or a tragedy? Or both? Or neither?

First, let’s define the two words. 

Travesty -something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be

Tragedy – a very bad event that causes great sadness and often involves someone’s death

Is the train wreck a travesty or a tragedy?

It’s a tragedy. It was a very bad event that caused great sadness and people probably died.

Did the court’s ruling count as a travesty of justice or a tragedy of justice?

It’s a travesty. It’s shocking, upsetting and perhaps ridiculous.

Is the murder of a family a travesty or a tragedy? Or both? Or neither?

It’s a tragedy. Plain and simple.

Don’t be guilty of using the wrong word at the wrong time.

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