After a deluge of mockery, The Associated Press Stylebook has apparently determined that using the phrase “The French” is not demeaning or “dehumanizing” after all.
A tweeted guideline for the AP Stylebook warned Thursday against using the “often dehumanizing” combination of the word “the” with group identifiers.
The AP Stylebook is a kind of bible for journalists and editors at countless publications and online media sites that spells out the appropriate way to use language in journalism.
“We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated,” advised the since-deleted tweet. “Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses. And use these descriptions only when clearly relevant.”
The AP’s tweet really stirred up the merde on Twitter.
Even the French Embassy mocked the tweet, saying it would apparently have to refer to itself from now on as “Embassy of Frenchness in the U.S.”
The AP eventually called its original tweet “inappropriate” and issued a replacement that didn’t refer to “the [miffed] French.”