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A Perl program for scrambling a text based on the frequency with which pairs of words appear in the original text. The result is a strange parody of the original It can also be used to scramble multiple texts - which creates a parody that algorithmically draws parallels between the two (because it reveals how some of the same idioms/structures are used between the two.)

Travesty is often thought to have originated from the Perl hacker community - the Perl source is distributed as part of the Perl distribution, and in fact, it is popular with Perl hackers.

However, the original implementation was written (not in Perl) in 1984 by literary critic Hugh Kenner and Joseph O'Rourke as an algorithmic poetry tool.
They introduced it in an article in Byte magazine called "A Travesty Generator for Micros."

So Travesty has its roots in both the literary world and geekdom.
(Source: - say it with software art!)

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Jill Walker Rettberg