In the past, I’ve talked about my pref­er­ence for Ms over Mrs and Miss. There’s anoth­er hon­orif­ic I want­ed to dis­cuss today: Mx.

How new is Mx?

Mx might seem new to most peo­ple, but it was first pro­posed about 4 decades ago. Orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed for those who didn’t want to be iden­ti­fied by their gen­der to avoid gen­der bias, Mx has been wel­comed as a gen­der-neu­tral option for non-bina­ry peo­ple (such as those who are gen­der flu­id, agen­der, gen­derqueer, and so on.

How widespread is Mx?

The usage of Mx has been gain­ing sup­port in the UK as var­i­ous gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies have accom­mo­dat­ed its pres­ence on var­i­ous forms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, begin­ning in 2013 with the city coun­cil in Brighton and Hove, Sus­sex. Today, it’s an option on pass­ports, and dri­vers incens­es. Even UK busi­ness­es, such as banks, pro­vide it as an option to their cus­tomers.

Pro­vid­ing more legit­i­ma­cy to the term, Mer­ri­am-Web­ster added Mx to their unabridged dic­tio­nary last year, and Oxford added it to theirs the year pri­or.

Out­side the UK, it hasn’t met the same wide­spread accep­tance, and such accep­tance may be still a few years off. Ms, for exam­ple, took about 85 years before it was adopt­ed by the New York Times.

How do you pronounce Mx?

It sounds sim­i­lar to mix.

How do you use Mx?

Use it the same way you would use Mr or Ms:

  • Dear Mx Jones …
  • May I intro­duce you to Mx Pat Smith?

Where can I read more about Mx?

Check out these arti­cles on MX, its usage, and what it means to those who use it.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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