We used to refer to someone as Miss, Mrs. Ms Mr, but this is not a preferred way to some people who are LGBTQ. I’ve heard that Oxford dictionary included Mx as a new way to call someone who is neither Ms nor Mr. Is it true? If so, how widespread is it? Has it become a norm for English speakers? apple
Hi, Apple—I see that you have rejoined the forum as Mitsuko. Welcome again! Yes, you are right. The OED does have precisely such an entry for "Mx," a form of address which I had never once used or encountered in speech or in print. I'm glad you've brought it to the forum's attention. It's ugly, but perhaps useful.
I've never really taken this pronoun business very seriously, as politically incorrect as it may be for me to say it. If someone is male, I use "he"/"him"/"his" to refer to him. If someone is female, I use "she"/"her"/"hers." If they don't identify with what they naturally are, that is not my linguistic problem!
Is it not biologically impossible for someone to be neither male nor female?
I never intend to add "pronouns" to my e-mail signature at the college where I teach, popular though it is for teachers and staff to do so. It should be obvious to anyone who speaks English that the name David is used for people who are male. How could anyone not know what pronoun to use for me?
Here is the entry for "Mx" in the OED:
A gender-neutral title of courtesy prefixed to a person's surname, sometimes with first name(s) interposed.Mx was originally offered as an alternative to Mr, Mrs, Miss, and Ms, as a means to avoid having to specify a person's gender, but has frequently been adopted as a title by those who do not identify themselves as male or female (e.g. transgender or intersex people).
1977 P. Kite in Apr. 16/2 Maybe both sexes should be called Mx. That would solve the gender problem entirely.
1982 More Words & Sex in net.nlang (Usenet newsgroup) 11 July How about one generic title for everyone?.. From now on, we should all go by Mx, pronounced ‘mix’ or ‘mux’... Mx. John Eldridge.
1998 Re: Vegetarianism & B12 Deficiency in uk.misc (Usenet newsgroup) 19 Oct. Occasionally I have used the title 'Mx' before my name, with the idea that it leaves in question whether I [am] a woman or a man or somethinng [sic] in between.
2014 L. I. Pearlman et al. in L. Erickson-Schroth vi. xxiii. 559 One of the most well-known gender nonconforming cabaret artists..is Mx Justin Vivian Bond. Mx Bond..prefers the pronoun V.