Residence or Residency?

A Short Clarification

By Annette Rey

These situations come up and it is good to take a look at them. You can develop a pattern of correct word usage by being in the habit of learning the correct word origin to work from.

On the television, I heard this being said, “We maintain separate residencies.” The word choice used is the plural of the noun residency. That is not the correct derivation in this case.

The correct way to have said what this person meant is, “We maintain separate residences.” This is the plural of the noun residence – a noun that means housing, like a lighthouse, home, hovel, bungalow, ranch house, hotel.

Do you see how this really clarifies the intended meaning? You must be careful to use the original word of meaning to then derive its plural.

Resident refers to the person who lives in a place, as in: Many of the residents in Iowa come from farming families.

I use the word resident as a title when I refer to my Resident Toad, an amazingly friendly amphibian who resides in a hole in the ground in my back yard. (Resides is a verb.)

Residency refers to periods of training, as in: James is serving his medical residency at St. John’s Hospital.

There are other ways to apply the word residency. Do your homework.

Create professional work. Be thorough and use your dictionary.




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