Language

Gender-Neutral Title 'Mx' Embraced by U.K. Officials, May Join Oxford English Dictionary

"This is an example of how the English language adapts to people's needs," says OED editor Jonathan Dent.

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The gender-neutral honorific "Mx" may soon join the likes of Miss, Mr., Mrs., and Ms. in the the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Assistant Editor Jonathan Dent said the word—pronounced "mux" or "mix" (there doesn't seem to be a consensus yet)—is being considered for inclusion in the next edition of the OED. 

For the past few years, U.K. officials and businesses have been quietly adding Mx to forms and databases. It's now accepted on U.K. driver's licenses and other official government paperwork. It's also "the most commonly used and recognized gender neutral title" at Oxford University, and major banks such as Barclays and Halifax now recognize it as well.

"This is an example of how the English language adapts to people's needs, with people using language in ways that suit them rather than letting language dictate identity to them," Dent told The Sunday Times.

When you look at the usual drop-down options for titles, they tend to be quite formal and embrace traditional status such as the relationship between a man and wife, such as Mr and Mrs, or a profession such as Dr or even Lord. This is something new.

"Mx first appeared in a U.S. parenting magazine in the 1970s, proposed by those who viewed the traditional honorifics of Mr, Miss and Mrs as discriminatory," according to Al Arabiya News. "However, in the late 1990s, it became more associated with individuals choosing not to identify themselves as either male or female." 

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  1. I find it offensive, ban it.

    Or don’t I get the indignant veto?

    1. Now look here, Mx UnCivilServant ….

      1. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

        1. “Intercourse xe and the animal companion who provided transport for xe!”

        2. Kelly isn’t a horse; Kelly is a donkey and was brought over solely for Mr. Dante’s going away party.

          And I didn’t ride Kelly.
          Ever.
          So there, Mx Inter-Species Erotica Voyeur.

          1. Go on….

    2. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.work-cash.com

  2. Also, what is that sign supposed to represent, a mutant siamese quadruplet joined at the head with two more fully cojoined?

    1. I’m put in mind of an inverse rat-king of infants.

    2. I’m thinking it’s a rolling cluster fuck.

      1. Isn’t that a thread including both Tony and Bo?

        1. Absolutely.

  3. Bender: You… You’re leaving? But why can’t Yivo just move in with us? We’ll put a cot in Europe.

    Farnsworth: Don’t be daft, Bender. Yivo can’t breathe outside the electric ether of shkler own universe. If shklee came here, shklee would shkluffocate.

    Bender: No shklit?

  4. It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out, but as soon as you make the title gender-neutral, it conveys no information and becomes superfluous and meaningless.

    It would be more sensible and appropriate to EMPLOY NO TITLES once you make it gender-neutral.

    But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We’re going to go through the rigmarole of replacing informative titles with titles that add no information. BECAUSE.

    1. Well it does have a purpose. It identifies a large subset of idgets.

    2. It still serves as a formal address.

      1. For these people, I prefer “Fucktard” –

        “Fucktard Smith, thanks for joining us!”

        “Fucktard Brown, may I help you?”

        1. I was gonna say fuckface but fucktard works. Maybe I’ll go with fucktard for men and fuckface for women.

          1. JB, my guess is that someone, somewhere, would take offense that you would choose different prefixes.

            1. They live to be offended so I’m really doing it for them.

              1. You are one thoughtful person, JB!

                1. Always thinking of othering – I mean others. Always thinking of others.

                  Just. Like. Us.

          2. Wouldn’t that be Fucktard and Fucktardette?

            1. Wow – GENDER much?

              *rolls eyes*

      2. I prefer to be addressed as “Doctor Field Marshal President for Life” (you can leave off the Idi Amin Dada).

        1. Call me Princess Trigger please.

      3. It still serves as a formal address.

        When I want to be formal, the last syllable out of my mouth is going to be “mux”.

        “Mux Steadely-Smythe, glad to see you. How is Mux Steadely-Smythe?”

        Fuck. No.

    3. But calling people only by their last name is vaguely patriarchal. We’ll have to take it a step further and assign everyone a designation they can be referred by. Maybe a bar coding system to help out.

      1. I’m not going to be the one to start.

      2. Perhaps we can just create a more sensible nomenclature, like 3 alpha characters followed by 4 numeric characters. For example, THX1138.

        1. You are a license plate?

          1. The Fourth is not strong in this one.

            1. There are simply not enough letter and number combinations of that length to go around.

              1. I guess I’m just showing my age with respect to this reference, but I thought some Lucas fan would get it.

                1. Not even Brits are fans of Lucas electrics. Not even Lucas radiator fans are fans of Lucas electrics.

                2. I’ve always wondered why people didn’t accuse it of being an Anthem ripoff?

                  1. Good point. Could be because then they would have to point out that Anthem is a ripoff of We?

        2. Go on, Cur0087, go on.

          1. Nice, I like it!

    4. Wrong, Mx Fluffy. It conveys social signaling information, the most important kind of information there is. Understand now?

      1. It tells us to set the user on fire and to keep sufficient stocks of promethium on hand for the purging of these people with obviously mutant psychology.

        1. +1 Exterminatus!

    5. “If they get a title, we get one, too!”

  5. It’s pronounced mox. To help you remember: “To invent herself a new title, she’s got real moxie!”

    1. My mnemonic will be ‘who he or she mocks.’

    2. I prefer “mex”. Or maybe “mix”. Either way.

      1. I see physics notation: Mass x

        1. So, force= your mom?

      2. I prefer “meh”

    3. So an Mx. can be cast for zero mana?

      1. It will, however damage your life.

      2. So x as in the female chromosome?

  6. It’s also “the most commonly used and recognized gender neutral title” at Oxford University, and major banks such as Barclays and Halifax now recognize it as well.

    Well, that’s only because people have yet to adapt to “Hey, You, Asshole,” (Hya.). Give it time, though.

  7. I have Mxed feelings.

  8. No. this is an example of how those in authority seek to use language as a way to control people’s thoughts. No one needs this. If they did, it would have developed organically and be in wide use long before the OED ever thought of recognizing it. Instead, it was invented by authoritarians and is being recognized by the OED as a way to force people to use it and by doing so control their thoughts.

    You see the powers that be have decided that no one should be able to recognize differences between men and woman. Since the language is in many ways thought, they figure they will change the language to make unacceptable thoughts impossible.

    Anyone who uses this abomination is either an authoritarian or a idiot dupe. No thanks.

    1. If they did, it would have developed organically and be in wide use long before the OED ever thought of recognizing it

      It sort of sounds like that is the case, no?

      1. I’m going to have to side with John here. Do you know anyone using it? I know I don’t. If you were to use it in a letter going out to an audience of 10,000 people, do you think more than 100 would recognize it?

        The only time I’ve heard of it, and that’s only been in the last couple of weeks, is in the context of academics and those specifically pushing an agenda.

        1. No, I do not. But then, I don’t know many transgender people, and the ones I do know prefer to be addressed as women. It also seems to be more of a UK thing?

          I’ll admit I don’t know much about this whole movement. John could be right and this could all be some SJW top-down crusade. It fits their MO. But it could also be something used by a small but organically growing community, and I think that is really all the OED requires to list a word (I seem to remember yadayadayada being added after Seinfield used it, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess a relatively small subset of pop-culture aficionados actually used it regularly).

          Just because it runs counter to current cultural norms doesn’t make it authoritarian or particularly objectionable. I may think it is sort of silly but if people want to be referred to as Mx it’s no skin off my nose.

          1. But it could also be something used by a small but organically growing community, and I think that is really all the OED requires to list a word

            And yet santorum has yet to make it in…

          2. Who the hell are these UK people to try and push their lenguage off on us?

          3. I don’t know many transgender people, and the ones I do know prefer to be addressed as women.

            Referring to a tranny as “MX” would be a micro-aggression, wouldn’t it, as you are refusing to celebrate their gender identity of the day.

    2. No one needs this

      This sounds like the declaration of an authoritarian…

      1. It is a statement of fact. If people needed it and wanted it, it would be in widespread use right now. The OED is supposed to record changes that happen to the language organically not drive them from the top.

    3. The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought ? that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc ? should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods.
      …George Orwell, “The Principles of Newspeak”

      1. It was a warning, not an instruction manual!

  9. So would the gender neutral title for a doctor be Dx, pronounced “dix”?

    1. Win.

      How about Lady? Lx?

        1. Indeed.

      1. “Lx be lady tonight…..”

        /Nathan Detroit

        1. Is that a statement or a pleading?

    2. What do we use now for a female doctor? Doctrix?

        1. That was sort of what I was getting at.

      1. Like there is such a thing.

      2. What do we use now for a female doctor?

        “Nurse”.

        [Ducks, flees from hospital, hastily packs bag, drives to Mexico, buys false ID, hops a plane to a country with no extradition treaty]

  10. “the purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.”

    Some racist white guy, like, a hundred years ago.

    1. Doubleplus one

    2. social justice

    3. You beat me to it.

  11. Great, now they’ve dragged motocross into this shitstorm of triviality.

    /MX

  12. I thought the old system of Pimp and Ho worked fine.

  13. New rule. Anyone calling me Mx is getting a tittie twister

    1. Anyone calls me Francis ….

      1. Lighten up, Francis.

  14. But they can’t get rid of ‘Miss’; it’s how spinsters like me let men know we’re single….

  15. Two predictions:

    1) It will be discovered that 99% of the non-traditional gender stuff is a combination of a certain plastic that pregnant women are exposed to, plus social trendiness.

    2) When that happens, there will be non-traditional gender types who will not want to ban the plastic, because it would be “genocide” that would “destroy their community.”

    1. It was the baby on board stickers!!!

      1. +1. Perfect.

    2. Sounds like the deaf people who want to make sure they have deaf children. Fuck them.

      1. Question – how does being a hearing child in a deaf household impact language development, specifically spoken language?

        1. That is an interesting question. But I have no idea. I bet someone has done some research. I imagine that TV helps. People who grow up with non-English speaking parents usually end up speaking English well. I don’t imagine it is too different growing up in a sign language household.

  16. Mx-Master Mike, what do you got to say?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XflfiylNNXY

  17. How about just using people’s names? What does the honorific really add anyway? I don’t like honors and titles. People should earn respect on their own merits. Titles only set up expectations that may or may not be valid.

    1. Shall I change my handle to “UnCivilServant, BSc (RIT)”? Or should I include the title bestowed upon me by the state as well? Or are state titles distilled down to pay grades?

    2. Dag nab it, we dun fought a Revulushion over them thare titles.

  18. Would have funnier if they would have gone with Pat.

  19. I wonder what the trendsetter Sir Mx Alot thinks about this?

    1. He likes big btts, and he cannot li?

    2. He likes big butts, and he cannot lie….

    3. First of all, he should drop the patriarchic, heteronormative “Sir” from him name.

      1. His name, but while we’re changing salutations and pronouns, why not get rid of “his”?

  20. Mr. Bull
    Ms. Cow
    Mx. Steer

  21. Wonderful. In my line of work Mx = maintenance, i.e. I’m a Mx Officer

    1. You should bring that up with Mx Manager. I mean the manager.

  22. Anybody remember the MX missile?

    1. Yes, and we know that missiles are phallic, so this is clearly still gender-biased. Back to drawing board, PC people!

  23. I for one would embrace the new title completely should it come out. No more awkward moments after addressing large chested guys with long hair as a girl. Similar things can happen with girls. You know you’ve all done it before.

    1. Once back in art school I was in the computer lab, and while I forget why, I told the desk they could give the next computer to “her,” who I only saw out of the corner of my eye. Then I realized it was a very effeminate guy. Oops.

      1. Yeah, shoulda gone with the gender-neutral “it”.

  24. This is the evil Koch bros. dastardly plan to market dresses to men and chainsaws to women!
    Don’t be fooled, people!

  25. Good.

    A lot of the bellyaching here sounds like the nonreligious arguments against same sex marriage from ten or so years ago.

    Just like with gay marriage, if you don’t like it you don’t have to have it. But there is a minority for whom this is important.

    1. Just like with gay marriage, if you don’t like it you don’t have to have it.

      I eagerly await the harassment lawsuits that will prove you wrong. Rather, I don’t, but they’re going to happen whether I like it or not.

      1. Are you being forced to get gay married?

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