English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the following sentence, I'm guessing "tenants" means "design goals" (based on the context):

One of the fundamental tenants of Log4j 2 is to use immutable objects whenever possible and to lock at the lowest granularity possible.

I'm not familiar with this usage of "tenants" (there's probably another meaning I'm unaware of) versus this meaning:

tenant [ˈtɛnənt]:


  1. One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another.
  2. A dweller in a place; an occupant.
  3. Law One who holds or possesses lands, tenements, or sometimes personal property by any kind of title.

I guessed that it was a typo, but searches for "tennant", "tenent", and "tennent" yielded no results. Can someone please provide the definition (and/or a link)?

share|improve this question
I find these misunderstandings humerus. I mean... :-) – Warren P Mar 24 '13 at 23:10
up vote 47 down vote accepted

You're probably looking for tenet.

a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy


share|improve this answer
Thank you. I filed a documentation bug. – user8237 Mar 24 '13 at 19:41
Makes you wish it was wikipedia, then you could just fix it. – Warren P Mar 24 '13 at 23:12
It's a reasonably common eggcorn: eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/300/tenant – Kaz Dragon Mar 25 '13 at 9:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.