I was proofreading my research and got a comment on my sentence which was " this thought no longer holds water", the reviewer recommends to substitute with " this thought no longer bears credence".

What do you think, does the suggestion valid?

  • 1
    Idiomatic to hold water (to make sense, be credible) is a bit informal, but the suggested alternative is a bit "stilted, starchy". Better than either would be This is no longer credible, imho. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '18 at 19:13

First, as fumble fingers said in his comment, "no longer holds water" is a perfectly good idiom, but it is informal.

Second, the primary meaning of "credence" is, according to Merriam Webster, "mental acceptance as true or real." In that primary meaning, "bear credence" does not make sense. Who or what bears "mental acceptance"? "Deserve credence" is probably what is meant and is both correct and formal, though perhaps slightly pompous.

Third, I suspect that you would be better served with "credible" or "credibility." Those indicate that there is sufficient evidence to support a conclusion of truth whereas "credence" primarily relates to belief in a truth regardless of evidence. "Many give credence to alien visitations even though the reported incidents are not credible." The distinction between "credence" and "credible" is useful and should be maintained.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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