Excuse me, Mx.

There are a few things for me to blog about since they’re all in my head. The race-based culture shock experienced by my sister in University compared to my own sex & sexuality and gender based culture shock in the same campus, although different environments (We enrolled in different faculties).  My new gardening hobby, and a newfound appreciation for the fruits of the vine parable. A rant about my improvement in crochet. How celebrities become role models and how they affect youth populations based on my life from 2004 to rightly 2011. Relearning an old family dynamic, while establishing a new one. That one dude who brought up the past, and how oddly cool I am with it.

But these are all personal, and I’m still trying to find the words for some of these.

Instead, I think I’ll look at that gender neutral personal (for people dude, come on) pronoun, Mx.

I’ll try to go back to what I learned in sociolinguistics, although I haven’t in a while.

I place this disclaimer. I am a Christian. But in this, I intend to neither condone or discriminate against the LBGTQ community. Just using my linguist skills to comment and post observations. I’m not putting my opinion on the wider issue. There will not be any good or bad. Just more and less. My opinions and observations all have to do with how I see English developing. Honestly Language is all I wanna focus on. So if you have anything to say on language development from your own observations, or to correct me, feel free to comment. I will not reply or acknowledge anyone bashing anyone on this. You have been informed.

It’s an old article, and I can’t find now, >=( , but if you aren’t already aware, the LGBTQ community is happy, cuz gender neutral pronoun that is deliciously accepted as non binary! The Oxford English Dictionary is hoping to fill a void in the non-gender conforming community by introducing the gender-neutral title “Mx.

My first question is etymology. Where did it come from? As I’m writing this, I’m doing my research. I’ll get it soon enough I expect. So far though this is the closest I got, and it gives a little of a definition.

My second question is how will this affect language? Well duh. Society affects language affects society, so personally I’m not surprised. With this last decade, gender and sexuality is being explored and more is being revealed, and more is being understand about both broad groups, and how one isn’t interchangeable with the other. Of course, me with my binary mind ( ha, ‘binary’, never entered my vocab as associated with sexuality and gender until recently. I’d do a separate rant, but for the purpose of this one, it can be understood as included) , I get tied with coming up with examples.

So this new element of society needs to have terminology that addresses it. So naturally, language develops around it. English has unofficially accepted it, as tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, twitter and other social sites have shown. I’d imagine that so have other languages around the world. But as an anglophone, English has unofficially accepted it. And now, it seems that its dictionaries will.

But how does this affect languages? Language. Dictionaries can be considered to be a list of standard and accepted terms. I mean, if ‘selfie’ and ‘hashtag’ can…

So ‘Mx’ is one step closer to Standard English status. Also ‘Misc” according to that article linked with the definition.

That’s how. We accept it, Dictionaries accept it, academia and ‘higher institutions’ accept it – dude it’s already here. We’ve already been witness to and testimonies of how it’s affecting English.

The question now, is how will this affect society?  Aren’t we already seeing it? Set up a tumblr account. They’ll show you. Or just go and talk to someone. More and more people are being comfortable to identify as part of the spectrum. More and more people are using the terminology, and it’s getting more ingrained in the populations (whatever the community). More and more people are beginning to understand the LGBTQ grouping, and children are already ‘yah, whatevs’ about it, while 20 years ago, no one talked about it, so the world was largely uninformed.

So I expect in five years time the majority of nations will include Mx. as a legal title alongside Mr. Mrs. And Ms.

Cuz that’s how languages work.

– Kaye~


2 thoughts on “Excuse me, Mx.

  1. Hello! I’m here because I got one of those pingback things, because you linked to my article on Genderqueer in the UK.

    That article is oooooold, and I’ve since learned a lot more about Mx. I’m going to share some of the helpful URLs with you, since you wonder about the roots of it.

    Back in (at least) the 70s, and probably back into the 60s, Mx was created as a title that anyone could use, regardless of gender. Its first known mention in print was in Single Parent magazine in 1977, where it was proposed as an option that’s even more feminist than Ms – it goes one step further than ignoring marital status, and ignores gender too.

    Around 2000, the nonbinary/genderqueer population began to find each other and come out and inform people. Mx began to gain popularity as a title that not only allows someone with a non-normative gender to avoid the M/F dilemma, but it also theoretically doesn’t “out” someone – because anyone can be Mx, so Mx says nothing about your gender.

    At the moment there’s a bit of a tug of war going on over Mx. Some nonbinary people think that binary people shouldn’t use Mx, and some nonbinary people think that anyone should be able to use Mx. I think Mx should stay as it is, as an inclusive title, and a new title should be made that only nonbinary people can use. Men and women both get gender-exclusive titles, and there are nonbinary people out there who want one of those too.

    The origins of Mx – http://practicalandrogyny.com/2014/08/28/when-was-the-mx-gender-inclusive-title-created/
    Mx being accepted by society generally – http://www.polyinpictures.com/wp-content/uploads/mxevidencelowres.pdf
    Mythbusting – http://cassolotl.tumblr.com/post/103270097225 (It points out that Mx is not a title for nonbinary and/or transgender people)
    More nonbinary people want no title at all than want Mx – http://cassolotl.tumblr.com/post/111178818250

    • Thanks for letting me know. Most of what you commented here sounds familiar, but since I didn’t have a source I didn’t want to put it in. ( academic in me, I guess) Thanks for the links too. At the very least other linguists, or anyone curious about it could find it here. And thanks for the debate comment. I figured some people would be on either side.

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