Even the French refer to themselves collectively as ‘The French’ as this article demonstrates. I don’t know if l am being over sensitive but the complaints of ‘sweeping generalisation’ by some members when the collective description ‘The French’ is used to ascribe a certain set of behaviours, attitudes or conduct seems a little pedantic IMO. Perhaps we need to chill out a little and accept that everybody knows that it does not, and never will, refer to all French people. It is a literal device to describe collective words or actions of some of the group whose individual names are unknown but exist as part of the group.
A very fair point, Dan. Although I’m not an ardent monarchist it would be hard to argue very persuasively against “The British are very fond of their Queen and like the pomp and ceremony that surrounds her and the Royal Family on great occasions like the birth of a new Royal baby”. Or, “The British love their fish and chips, and an Indian chicken, lamb or beef curry is a strong favourite with them too.”
Generalisations, but fair ones as generalisations go.