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There is a gender neutral word that could replace 'Mr' and 'Mrs'

by in news

While there are still many battles to win, LGBT rights have made remarkable leaps and gains in the last few years.

In a powerful watershed moment for gay rights worldwide, the US Supreme Court upheld the decision to legalise same-sex marriage in June this year.

Transgender and non-binary gender narratives are also becoming mainstream issues thanks to the visibility of women like Caitlyn Jenner and the character of Sophia in Orange is the New Black, played by Laverne Cox.

That there's no gender neutral singular pronouns in English makes it difficult to convey the complexities of identity as we understand it in 2015. But a new entry on Dictionary.com is proving that language - like attitudes - does evolve.

Introducing 'Mx'

The honorific Mx has been kicking around since the 1970s, but has seen a resurgence of late, which is reflected by its entry into the online dictionary on Tuesday. According to Time, the 'M' comes from the traditional prefixes 'Mr' or 'Miss', and the 'x' signifies an unknown entity, the same way it does in algebra.

Whether you're cis, genderfluid, agender, bigender or you just don't particularly feel the need to proclaim your gender to everyone, Mx fits the bill.

It's also good for getting round the 'Miss', 'Ms' and 'Mrs' qualifiers used for women or if you don't know someone's gender or what they like to call themselves.

Speaking to Time, Dictionary.com lexicographer Jane Solomon said:

The need for a gender-neutral prefix seems to be very, very top of mind for people.

We’re starting to see a real cultural shift in which people are talking more openly about gender. You have ongoing conversation about gender in the public eye.


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