Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Battle over spelling revived on Ybor's Seventh Avenue

The Tampa City Council approved these signs in 1998. Early residents of Ybor referred to Seventh Avenue as La Setima, and the spelling honors the language used then, some officials say.


The Tampa City Council approved these signs in 1998. Early residents of Ybor referred to Seventh Avenue as La Setima, and the spelling honors the language used then, some officials say.

TAMPA — Is it inappropriate slang or a nod to Ybor City's first residents?

That's the question at the center of a flap over street signs on Seventh Avenue in Tampa's historic Latin district.

The honorary signs read "La Setima."

Fran Costantino, a longtime Ybor City activist and member of the Ybor City Development Corp. board, wants them changed to "La Septima," the proper Spanish spelling of the word "seventh."

"It's misspelled," she said. "It just makes us look stupid."

Historian Frank Lastra suggested using "La Setima" in 1996.

In his book, Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town, Lastra said the cigar workers and early residents of Ybor referred to Seventh Avenue as La Setima and the spelling "honors and affirms the ordinary language used for so many years in the daily oral life of the community."

The Tampa City Council approved the signs in 1998.

But Costantino said using the colloquialism was a bad idea from the beginning.

"You don't put slang on street signs," she said.

It would cost about $42,000 to replace the 24 street signs and would require approval of the City Council.

Vince Pardo, director of the city's Ybor City Development Corp., said there was extensive discussion about what spelling to use before the signs went up.

Whether or not to change them should once again be a community decision, Pardo said.

Last week, the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce voted to leave the signs as they are. The Ybor City Development Corp., a city agency that promotes economic development, is scheduled to discuss the matter today.

Pardo acknowledges the signs are confusing.

"Over the years, visitors have questioned why the signs read as they do, most thinking that we don't know how to spell Seventh," he said. Seventh Avenue has been in the spotlight recently after being named one of America's greatest streets by the American Planning Association.

Pardo has suggested putting markers on Seventh Avenue explaining the historical significance of La Setima.

But Costantino dismissed that idea.

"That's illogical," she said. "Next thing you know they're going to put up markers to explain the markers."

Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.

Battle over spelling revived on Ybor's Seventh Avenue 10/27/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 3, 2008 6:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement
  3. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulffront hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests at the Don CeSar Hotel relax Tuesday on St. Pete Beach. That night, the City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance to allow hotel guests to drink alcohol in permitted beach areas.
  4. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  5. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    From left, Aaron Sharockman, PolitiFact executive director, introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, PolitiFact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair; and Neil Brown, Tampa Bay Times editor and vice president, at the Poynter Institute on Tuesday.