Grammar Hammer: The Tenets of Tenants
I always go back and reread what I’ve written several times. I may even read it out loud to make sure it sounds right. A news release that crossed my desk recently had me reading the same sentence a few times. The release was about an organization talking about its principles, but the word used was “tenant,” as in, “One of the key tenants of Organization X…”
I stopped. Read it again. Tenants. Wait, that’s wrong. That should be “tenet,” right?
Here’s what’s interesting – there’s actually a pretty good reason why we confuse both of these words. “Tenant” and “tenet” come from the Latin word “tenere,” which means “to hold.” Other words that come from this Latin root are “tenacious” and “tenure.”
A “tenet” is an opinion, principle, dogma or doctrine, especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement. Going back to the Latin root – having a tenet is “to hold a belief.”
Example: A core tenet of PR Newswire is to positively impact our customer’s reputation, brand and revenue by enabling content to reach and engage target audiences.
A “tenant” is a person or group that rents and occupies land, a house, an office, and the like, from another for a period of time. A tenant “holds a lease.”
Read the full post by PR Newswire customer content services manager Cathy Spicer on Beyond PR.