Five hundred and fifty years after the founding of the United States, New Yorkers are still trying to figure out what exactly a “tenement” is.
The term “tenements” originated in New York City in the 19th century and has since become a common shorthand to refer to a single-family residence.
Today, it’s commonly used to refer not only to an apartment or a home, but to a neighborhood, even a neighborhood on the outskirts of town.
The word “ten” is pronounced as “te-t-n-um.”
It’s also a variant of “ten-um,” the diminutive “to.”
In the past, people have been able to get around this pronunciation by using the short form “tenum.”
In 1885, the American Philosophical Society, a leading academic journal, listed the pronunciations of the word “Tenement.”
“Ten-um” was the official pronunciation until 1924, when it was replaced by “ten,” according to Wikipedia.
Today’s pronunciation was announced by the City of New York last month, which has been working to help its residents better understand the pronunciation.
As a result, residents can learn the new pronunciation online and in print, and some are using it to help them navigate their neighborhoods.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says that in New Yorkers, “ten is the diminutive of ten.”
“The word is also commonly used in the pronunciation of the term ‘tenement,'” the dictionary notes.
“It may be pronounced ‘ten-am-ee.'”
A sign in the window of a Tenement Museum on Fifth Avenue in New Jersey.
The new pronunciation is a welcome addition to the city, according to residents and officials.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a Ten-ement before,” one woman told The Associated Press.
“We live in a neighborhood that is very small, so I think it makes sense to be able to pronounce it differently.”
The New York Times, however, says the pronunciation should be considered a learning aid.
“The term Tenement may have some advantages over others, but in the end, it is not the one to use,” the newspaper wrote.
“Ten is a relatively simple pronunciation and is one that many people can learn by simply looking at the sign.”
According to The New Yorker, the word can also be shortened to “tee-tum.”
A sign at the Tenement museum in the Bronx.
(AP Photo/Mike Groll) “In a way, the pronunciation is like a word-processor,” New York University linguist Michael Chua said.
“There’s no real pronunciation test for it, so people have to just be able not to miss it.
It’s not a big deal, really.”
The New York State Department of Housing and Community Development released a guide to the pronunciation last year, which explains that the pronunciation “is actually a little bit of a misnomer.”
“While the word ‘ten’ has long been a common pronunciation for a small section of the city of New Yorkers,’ it is now used for residential dwellings in the City,” the guide reads.
“As the City has expanded and developed, so has the pronunciation for Tenement and the pronunciation ‘tee’ has also become the most common.”
A Tenement sign in New Kensington, Brooklyn.
(Getty Images) According to The Times, the Department of Homeland Security has updated its guidance on the pronunciation, which is expected to be released later this month.
“In general, the Federal Government recommends the use of ‘teee’ to describe an ‘unoccupied housing unit,’ because of its many uses and because the word is pronounced ‘te-uh,'” the department’s guidance reads.
The pronunciation “tees” is also “an extension of the pronunciation’ tee-uh, or ‘teeth,'” according to the American Heritage dictionary.
“Ten” can also mean a lot of things, from “a little bit,” to “a very large area,” to an entire neighborhood, according the dictionary.
But, according its definition, it should not be confused with the words “tenant,” “tenor,” “terrace,” “town,” “house,” or “household,” according the American Association of University Professors.
If you want to get the word pronunciation right, here’s the American spelling guide for the word: Tenement Tenum Ten-Am-ee Teneum Tee-Tuum Tee-UM Tum-Am Moor Moo-um Ame-um