“The” AP Clarifies

The AP updated its style guide to recommend removal of the definite article “the” when referring to some groups:

…reporters should avoid “general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated.”

The AP caught flak for so blatantly disparaging Frenchmen and -women, so it “clarified” its position. In saying that it actually was acceptable to refer to Frenchmen and -women as “the French,” the outlet said,

“…But ‘the’ terms for any people can sound dehumanizing and imply a monolith rather than diverse individuals.”

Apparently, according to The AP’s Newspeak Dictionary as modified again, “‘the’ French” is acceptable, and it’s OK to dehumanize Frenchmen and -women as a group and to suggest that they’re monolithic and not diverse individuals.

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