Penchant is synonymous with words such as "inclination" and "leaning."
Does the sentence below correctly use the word "penchant"?
Joe has a penchant against the UCLA Bruins.
A penchant is a predisposition in favor of, a predilection for something. I found this on the Net, though. I'd say that he's misusing the word and that the writer or speaker should have said "prejudice" or "bias" against the UCLA Bruins.
I recommend looking at Wordnik for questions like this. In addition to providing definitions from more than one dictionary on the left, the Wordnik page shows example usages on the right.
Initially, I didn't like the sentence about Joe and the Bruins. I think of a penchant for doing something being used more like a tendency to do something. So, I'd be more inclined to say:
When I checked the Wordnik page, I noticed that almost all the usages read penchant for, even after I clicked the
Still, 30 or 40 usages on Wordnik hardly constitutes a definitive answer. So, I looked up "has a penchant against" on Google books, I found all of one hit, from a 1930 yearbook:
When I changed the search to "has a penchant for", however, there were 137,000. Interestingly enough, the very first result was from a dictionary of idioms, which says that the idiom "Have a penchant for" means:
I also tried these searches on Google books:
You can say whatever you want to say, and write whatever you'd like to write, but, as for me, I'd have a penchant for avoiding the usage found in your sentence.
penchant has these definitions:
(first thing that pops up in google when 'inclination definition' is all that is typed)
Going by the definitions, and substituting penchant with (an) inclination, I don't believe that penchant is being misused. Does it seem a bit off? Yeah, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Also, if you see the synonyms for
(Regarding my statement about J.R.'s dislike, the sentence could also be worded:
*I linked inclination to help support why I say that penchant is not being misused.)