And Then They Came For “The”: Associated Press Warns Use of the Article Can Be “Dehumanizing”

The Associated Press has announced that the article “the” should be avoided in many circumstances because it is “dehumanizing.” It warns writers to avoid saying offensive things like “the French”. It does not seem that we can even just add an x like Latinx. It is not a gender thing so “thx” will not suffice. It is now an article of faith to stop using the article “the” in referencing groups.  It is reminiscent of Winston Churchill who was chastised for ending a sentence with a preposition. He responded by showing the artificiality of avoiding an ending preposition: “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”

The AP declared that:

“We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses. And use these descriptions only when clearly relevant.”

Even the French Embassy responded with “Le” scorn.

By the way, if you are thinking of objecting to “the grammar police,” think again. It will just establish that you are a dehumanizing monster.

What concerns me most is that this dehumanizing article has lingered in the English language for so long without being noticed until now. Even The editors of The Associated Press are shadowed with this vile, dehumanizing word. It is literally lurking on every computer and in every  dictionary.

The only option is decisive action. AP must take its ox cart through the streets and call on people to bring out their “thes” for proper disposal. As for any French people encountered along the way, simply refer to them as “people associated with the nation of France.”

81 thoughts on “And Then They Came For “The”: Associated Press Warns Use of the Article Can Be “Dehumanizing””

  1. The Twitter thread from the French Embassy is making me laugh so hard I cried, and my big dog dashed in, concerned.

    French Embassy:

    “This is us, now. Embassy of Frenchness in the US.”


    “People of Frenchness have arrived.”

    “I think you meant ‘people experiencing Frenchness.'”

    “Maybe ‘people living with Frenchness’ or ‘Frenchness survivors.'”

    “It’s alright. We’ve all experienced Frenchness from time to time. You’ll make it through.”

    “The Frenchness of this is perfect.”

    Please, please, may the media decide to follow suite, and try to remove the word “the” from all broadcasts. This will be better viewing than when they decided that Sarah Palin caused a shooting because she used warlike terminology like “target” and “in our sights” for an election. They all tried to excise war terms while discussing an election. They had to apologize after every sentence because they could not, in fact, discuss any election without using terms like “war room”, “target”, “sights”, “laser like focus”, “battle ground”, etc. It was absolutely hilarious. I wish they’d bring it back, because watching them unable to get through a sentence was good fun. To see them try to avoid saying “the” when describing people will be wonderful.

    1. More of Karen S’s discipleship to the alt-right media. If you read what Turley wrote, the AP is only suggesting that referring to an entire group of people as “the” should be “AVOIDED in MANY circumstances”, because it can be dehumanizing. Period. That’s it. No censorship. Not intended to be an across-the-board ban on anything–just awareness of better ways to refer respectfully to entire groups of people. Karen S. lacks the skills to understand that this is just another Fox-purchased culture wars rant calculated to stir up the disciples. I laughed out loud last night when Mark Levin was telling his dumbass audience that they were so much smarter than most people. That’s part of the hook, too. And, BTW, the word “Latinx” was banned by Sarah Huckabee Sanders as one of her first gubernatorial acts, because, don’t you know, that’s a really, really important first item on the agenda for a newly-elected governor.

      Meanwhile, in other alt-right news, some guest on Fox claimed that Donald Trump could end the war in Ukraine by simplying picking up the phone and calling Putin and telling him to quit killing Ukrainians. Tell me, you Trumspter disciples, do you believe this whopper? I’d really like to know. Seriously. And, secondly, if you DO believe it, why hasn’t your hero just gone ahead and called Putin, if for no other reason than to save lives? I’d like to know that, too.

      1. Gigi/Natacha:

        Where did I say the word “the” would be censored or banned?

        Please direct your complaints to the French Embassy. Excuse me: to the Embassy of Frenchness.

        1. Did your horse ever kick you in the head? I was pointing out that the AP was NOT suggesting anything like a ban–just avoiding labeling entire groups of people in certain instances by referring to them as “the” whatever. That’s all. Turley took this recommendation and turned it into an overblown culture wars weapon because that’s what Fox pays him to do. The alt-right mavens on this blog read today’s Turley piece to call for a ban.

    1. Yes, it’s absurd, but you all don’t seem to grasp the larger implications: generationally this is about to become the norm due to the fact that parents couldn’t tell their children, ‘No.’, at any point in their development, or just ignored them all together in favor of a device. Too many of us project ourselves onto the people that are creating this mess, and they are not us. Use your imagination and try to envision what you would be like if you were spoon fed literally every thought you have in your head about life, society, the world. it seems innocuous, but brains are the modern currency, not dollars, even those help to shape brains. Support anyone and everyone who is opposed to the freak show, whatever your old, traditional stance. These are not those times. Be a second greatest generation, because otherwise we will all eventually be slaves, coat to coast, continent to continent. you cannot compete with the wealth of billionaires, and that is just true.

  2. Professor Turley laments the censorship insanity rampant across society today, yet the censor-bots (or whatever they are) at this website will block what ought to be an utterly incontroversial post, thereby contributing his part to increasing that very insanity.

  3. This article highlights one – just one – reason I speak (and, now, write) of the ASSociated Press. When the local newspaper prints an AP article, I skip it unless I’m in the mood to identify its falsehoods, misstatements, political/social opinions, etc.

  4. Sister Ann Marie would have beaten me half to death with a ruler for using such convoluted passive voice English.

    1. jjj: Ah! NOW we’re getting to the heart of the matter–the real reason for today’s Turley trash piece–to discredit the AP–another Fox agenda item.

  5. Just posted this comment at the NY Post:

    Heavy censorship happening this morning at the NY Post and Jonathan Turley’s Res Ipsa websites.

    1. it is curious you have a need to remind us you lead a meaningless, empty life, filled only by commenting on internet forums whilst demonstrating you are bereft of deep, intellectual thought. you’re a one trick pony

      Now watch Ralphie Donothingness squeal

  6. If you are ” triggered” by a ” microaggression” and need a ” safe space”, GROW UP!!.

  7. For once and all, look at the ages of the people involved. I am not a big fan of Project Veritas myself, but when there is actual video you gotta believe it – how was that kid a ‘director’ at Pfizer? This is absolutely, 100% generational, and we are talking about a couple of generations at this point – I can promise that just like the NYT, Wikipedia,, virtually ALL of social media, etc., etc. – there are children in charge at AP that think they are inherently superior because they were raised to think that way. Behold the idiotic statue in NYC ‘honoring’ Ruth Ginsberg. At some point, we are going to have to address the root problem, and yes, universities are a part of that equation, but so are the parenting trends of the past number of decades. Parents. Take. Responsibility. For. How. You. Raised. Your. Children. Then do better, and be guaranteed it will be a shock to your kids. WE created this.

    Snowflakes are not born, they are made, and at this point privileged parents have installed privileged snowflakes into every single aspect of our society. Look no further than Twitter and the shocking number of employees who are the progeny of the elite (e.g. Fauci’s daughter – this is *everywhere*). This will not be resolved by anything but cracking down as Musk has done; any notions anyone has about isolated incidents need to go right out the window. This is our future if we do not step up right effing now. Real adults had better get over their misgivings about ‘hurting feelings’ and BE ADULTS. Somewhere, Mao has is grinning wider than circumference of the earth itself.

    1. -has

      Sorry for the typo, and thank you Professor and gang for being sane. Wish that weren’t a serious statement.

  8. Do these “Thought Police” realize when they say things like this, it creates an incentive to do just that.

  9. I reported this article to my SO this morning over coffee and his response was; OK, from now on he will say “the f*cking French so as to more intimately humanize it. I choked on my coffee but he made the point.

  10. We are truly living in Heinline’s “Crazy Years”:

    “Craziness can be measured by maladaptive behavior. The behavior the society uses to solve one kind of problem, when applied to an incorrect category, disorients it. When this happens the whole society, even if some members are aware of the disorientation, cannot reach the correct conclusion, or react in a fashion that preserves society from harm. As if society were a dolphin that called itself a fish: when it suffered the sensation of drowning, it would dive. But a dolphin is a mammal, a member of a different category of being. When dolphins are low on air, they surface, rather than dive. Putting yourself in the wrong category leads to the wrong behavior.”

  11. I’m way late to __? party? (wow this going to be hard). I was hanging out at some other blogs.
    As others have noted

    THE Ohio State, begs to differ.
    Or the more critical

    THE Real Donald Trump

  12. Echoes of the past. Language, education, political opinions, and so on. All under attack. This is not going to end well. At first we chuckled about this nonsense, but chuckling didn’t stop it. Now it has permeated every aspect of life as it did in Italy and Germany in the 30s. Even our healthcare has been impacted with medical students being taught to practice medicine with an eye toward stamping out “systemic racism.” And so on. Frightening.

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