Kylian Mbappe during the French World Cup final loss. Dec 18, 2022; Lusail, Qatar; France forward Kylian Mbappe (10) reacts after scoring his second goal of the match against Argentina during the second half of the 2022 World Cup final at Lusail Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

For many journalists, The Associated Press’ stylebook is a key resource, and often the deciding factor in what particular terms, spellings, or approaches to use. Since March 2009, they’ve had an @APStylebook Twitter account that’s discussed particular AP style approaches, often quite helpfully. But not everything posted there receives universal agreement in the journalism community, and a tweet Thursday in particular drew some hilarious responses.

While the tweet did make it clear that these labels are only “often dehumanizing,” not always dehumanizing, the inclusion of “the French” in the third slot there drew a lot of comment. Here’s some of that:

It is unfortunate for “The French” to wind up in the middle of this list. And this is just adding some insult to injury after their FIFA World Cup loss to Argentina in the final (Kylian Mbappe is seen above during that). But, perhaps “The Associated Press” is itself a “general and often dehumanizing” label…

Update: The initial APStylebook tweet was eventually deleted. After an explanation and then a new tweet from the agency’s overall @AP account.

So, at least per that, “the French” is no longer in a list of “general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels.” But “the college-educated” is. And the stylebook account itself later offered this:

[AP Stylebook on Twitter; photo from Yukihito Taguchi/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.