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Tags: associated press | stylebook | french | writing

French Embassy Mocks AP for 'Dehumanizing' Move

(Newsmax/"Greg Kelly Reports")

By    |   Friday, 27 January 2023 02:05 PM EST

The French Embassy in the United States joined thousands in ridiculing The Associated Press for seemingly putting "the French" on a list of "dehumanizing" labels.

The AP went unintentionally viral Thursday when its stylebook Twitter account posted guidance on generalizing that has since been deleted. According to the New York Post, the tweet was viewed more than 23 million times before being taken down.

"We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing 'the' labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated," the self-described "must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals" wrote.

"Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses," the guidebook continued. "And use these descriptions only when clearly relevant."

Retweeted more than 18,000 times, the message also accrued more than 9,000 comments, according to the Post, with most skewering the AP with wit over the gaffe.

Joining in the lampooning, the French Embassy in the U.S. shared an image joking that it would need to change its name to "Embassy of Frenchness in the US."

"I guess this is us now…," the embassy wrote.

"I agree with this," writer Sarah Haider quipped in a reply to the stylebook’s tweet. "Nothing as dehumanizing as being considered one of the French. Rather, such individuals should be thought of as ‘suffering from Frenchness’ and deserve our compassion and prayers."

Jon Stewart tried to clear up any confusion about labels for his 1.6 million followers.

"I believe the correct AP label is 'the/those f****** French,'" Stewart joked.

According to the Post, the style guide quickly apologized, saying that "the use of 'the French' in this tweet by @AP was inappropriate and has caused unintended offense."

In a follow-up tweet on Friday, the AP said, "We deleted an earlier tweet because of an inappropriate reference to French people. We did not intend to offend. Writing French people, French citizens, etc., is good. But 'the' terms for any people can sound dehumanizing and imply a monolith rather than diverse individuals."

The jokes about awkward wording just kept coming, however, including about how to refer to the AP itself.

"Out: The Associated Press," one person wrote. "In: Press Who Are Associating."

Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle got in on the act, saying, "The people experiencing journalism at the AP have their work cut out for them."

"You’re literally THE Associated Press," someone else wrote, including the emoji for face-palming.

Nicholas Fondacaro, the associate editor for the Media Research Center, asked, "Should we stop referring to ‘the’ AP Stylebook and refer to "a stylebook experiencing stupidity?"

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The French Embassy in the United States joined thousands in ridiculing The Associated Press for seemingly putting "the French" on a list of "dehumanizing" labels.
associated press, stylebook, french, writing
Friday, 27 January 2023 02:05 PM
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