The Associated Press, the biggest news agency in the United States, has apologised after it was ridiculed for warning journalists against referring to “the French”.
The AP stylebook Twitter account had recommended writers avoid using “the” in phrases like “the disabled, the poor and the French”.
It said this could be dehumanising.
The French embassy responded by briefly changing its name to the “Embassy of Frenchness in the United States”.
The tweet was the source of mockery on Twitter, with many making jokes about the inclusion of “the French”. It received more than 20 million views before being deleted.
“We deleted an earlier tweet because of an inappropriate reference to French people. We did not intend to offend,” AP tweeted.
“Writing French people, French citizens, etc., is good. But “the” terms for any people can sound dehumanising and imply a monolith rather than diverse individuals,” it added.