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“The French, the disabled”: American journalists urged to outlaw “dehumanizing” labels


In a tweet providing style advice, the American news agency AP urges the media to avoid generalities, citing among other examples the inhabitants of France.

Clumsiness, irony or voluntary spades?

In a tweet posted on the evening of Thursday January 26, the American press agency AP placed the French in an astonishing list.

Providing a series of recommendations for journalists to avoid generalities that are too vague and reductive, the authors of the style book warned about the correct use of names such as "

the mentally ill

", "

the handicapped

“, or even…”

the French


We recommend avoiding global and often dehumanizing labels like “the”

”, says “


” in English, explain the authors of the book, which lists a set of good practices for American journalists.

And to cite examples “

such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the graduates


Before clarifying


Use words like people with mental illness instead.

And only use these descriptions when they are clearly relevant


Read also "Wokism", "inclusivism" ... Why so many words in "-ism"?

Seen more than 20 million times on the blue bird social network, the tweet elicited many amused reactions.

The French Embassy in Washington itself reacted in a humorous tone, pretending to want to change its Twitter title to “

Embassy of Frenchness

”, literally “


of Frenchness ”.

Others, less quick to laugh, instead found AP's recommendation irrelevant, even ridiculous.

“Could AP be dumber?”

, asks a former American diplomat.


Associated Press”

, mocks another internet user.

The former nationalist right-wing candidate Eric Zemmour also reacted: "

We are the French

", he soberly commented.

Questioned by

Le Monde

, Lauren Easton, vice-president in charge of communication at AP, assured that there should be no particular message to the French, this nationality having been mentioned in a completely random way: "

The reference aux “Français”, as well as the reference to “graduates”, is an effort to show that “the” labels should not be used for anyone, whether they are traditionally stereotyped as positive, negative or neutral

,” she said. explained in an email to the French daily.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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