I just received this email:
My two adult daughters and my husband and I have been going round and round on this one for many years now. He and I have always said “by accident,” while my daughters and most of their age group tend to say “on accident.” I know this is incorrect, because it just is, but what’s the official word on this usage? Is it just a generational thing? Thanks for any insight.” ~Ramona
Tragedy and travesty sound alike, but they are nothing like synonyms. I’ve found that many people use the word travesty when they really mean tragedy, though no one every gets it wrong the other way.
Both words carry a negative connotation. They are normally used when describing a bad, unjust, or disheartening situation.