Monday, December 08, 2008

These Tenants Need Evicting

From today’s blog post by Jack Healey on the Huffington Post:
“Sixty years ago, the best document ever written came together in Paris under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt. It is called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That's the good news. The bad news is less than 5% of the world even knows about this document. Worse yet, many governments do not properly adhere to its tenants.”
Leaving aside the hyperbole about “the best document ever written” (what about the Magna Carta? The Declaration of Independence? “Green Eggs and Ham”?), we have here a fairly common misusage. “Tenants” are occupants of a dwelling. The word needed here is “tenets,” which are beliefs or doctrines held to be true.