FOR the first time in decades there is a new title to join Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms: the gender-neutral “Mx” as an honorific for transgender people and anyone else who does not identify with a particular gender.
Government departments, councils, high street banks, some universities, Royal Mail and driving licences all now accept Mx.
Over the past two years the title has been quietly added to official forms and databases and is now being considered for inclusion in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
Jonathan Dent, assistant editor on the OED, said it was the first addition to the accepted stable of honorifics in recent history and demonstrated how the English language is evolving to accommodate an ever–changing society.
He said it 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”.
The new term will be formally added to the dictionary in June of 2015. Honorifics are used to denote respect or esteem for a person by using a formal means of addressing them. The adoption of words into the Oxford English Dictionary indicates words have become recognized or commonly-used in the English Language.