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Gender neutral honorific Mx 'to be included' in the Oxford English Dictionary alongside Mr, Ms and Mrs and Miss

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
What? May 10, 2015

Do we really need more "politically correct" terms to be added to our language, terms that are invented and not actually used by anyone? My opinion: NO.

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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
French to English
+ ...
Quite agree May 10, 2015

- but they will be used, I expect, people will make sure of that

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MalinFreelancer  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:55
Member (2015)
Swedish to English
+ ...
You seem to be forgetting... May 10, 2015

...that the reason they're "invented" is that there are people who actually need them. Real people with feelings whose lives will be made just that tiny little bit easier by these words coming into use.

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:55
English to Polish
+ ...
... May 10, 2015

MalinFreelancer wrote:

...that the reason they're "invented" is that there are people who actually need them. Real people with feelings whose lives will be made just that tiny little bit easier by these words coming into use.


Personal quirks of some people shouldn't be making aspects of everyday life weird for everybody else. People should concentrate on what they do with their own lives rather than what impact they want to force on others' lives e.g. by expecting to be referred to in convuluted ways or making a fuss over disclosing one's gender.

And what about the feelings of people who don't want to be addressed as 'Mx'? There already are women who don't like the shift to 'Ms' as default title for their sex.



[Edited at 2015-05-10 22:43 GMT]


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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:55
Member (2007)
German to English
Kewl! May 11, 2015

Golly folks, I haven't been this excited since the worthies at the OED added 'kewl' to their august lexicon. (Don't believe it? Read it and weep: http://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/312057.)

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Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:55
Member (2012)
Dutch to Slovak
+ ...
Quite so. May 11, 2015

Because that's how it works, right - first you add words to a dictionary, then people magically start using it

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Not gender neutral May 11, 2015

Mx is clearly a feminine term. A gender-neutral version would have been Mxy. So the Oxford dictionary people have clearly made a scientific error in including this term in their dictionary and should forthwith correct it.

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
I agree May 11, 2015

Michal Fabian wrote:

Because that's how it works, right - first you add words to a dictionary, then people magically start using it


You can compare English to an html page with a stylesheet. The stylesheet is of course the Oxford dictionary. You make whatever changes you need to have in the English language (the html page) in the stylesheet and lo and behold, they get reflected accurately throughout the English language. Isn't it as easy as eating cake to fix languages? I wonder why it took Oxford so long to learn this trick! It could have easily purged English of all its quirks long ago and we would have had a perfect language to use internationally. That would even have obviated the need for translation as who would want to use another language when we have an Oxford-fixed perfect language to choose instead?

[Edited at 2015-05-11 01:54 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:55
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Honorific May 11, 2015

Nice one, Mxy Balu!
This Mx business is the silliest thing I've heard for days. All the rage in greeny PC Brighton, I see.
Why is an "honorific" needed at all in these soi-disant egalitarian days?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:55
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
An easy solution May 11, 2015

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Nice one, Mxy Balu!
This Mx business is the silliest thing I've heard for days. All the rage in greeny PC Brighton, I see.
Why is an "honorific" needed at all in these soi-disant egalitarian days?

Exactly.

To me the solution in English and probably other languages would be as simple as removing old-fashioned Mr./Ms./Mrs./Mx. (yes, Mx is old-fashioned from inception since it follows the same system), and simply use "Ps." for "person".:

Dear Ps. Paula Murray,
Dear Ps. Robert Finney,
Dear Ps. Haeden Marie Friston,
Dear Ps. Bryce Noelle Black,
Dear Ps. Dana International,

This way, we can give all people equal treatment and continue to waste our time adding some kind of useless honorific.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Not in Hindi May 11, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Nice one, Mxy Balu!
This Mx business is the silliest thing I've heard for days. All the rage in greeny PC Brighton, I see.
Why is an "honorific" needed at all in these soi-disant egalitarian days?

Exactly.

To me the solution in English and probably other languages would be as simple as removing old-fashioned Mr./Ms./Mrs./Mx. (yes, Mx is old-fashioned from inception since it follows the same system), and simply use "Ps." for "person".:

Dear Ps. Paula Murray,
Dear Ps. Robert Finney,
Dear Ps. Haeden Marie Friston,
Dear Ps. Bryce Noelle Black,
Dear Ps. Dana International,

This way, we can give all people equal treatment and continue to waste our time adding some kind of useless honorific.


May be for English, but not for all languages. In Hindi, as I had earlier mentioned, all nouns are gendered, and "person", a noun, is a masculine term, and we would be neatly back to square one.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
French to English
+ ...
More of a "database filler" than an actual title? May 11, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:
Do we really need more "politically correct" terms to be added to our language, terms that are invented and not actually used by anyone? My opinion: NO.


I'm not exactly sure as I've never seen or heard it used, but from the description, I'm wondering if this is more a "database filler" used in admin rather than an actual title that people really use or would want to use for everyday purposes.

After all, part of the raison d'être of a title is to designate gender. So if you don't identify with any particular gender, why not just do away with the title altogether? What I suspect happened was that "Mx" came about because there was a "space on the database" that "needed to be filled with something". From that point of view, you could argue about whether it's a "term added to the language".

On the other hand, a comprehensive dictionary may well take a wide view of what "the language" is that it is trying to document, and decide to include this kind of thing. (A similar argument goes for a host of other weird abbreviations, mathematical squiggles etc that are in a sense "paralanguage", but nonetheless "language" enough for some dictionaries to consider them.)


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
French to English
+ ...
Devil in the detail... May 11, 2015

Rachel Fell wrote:
- but they will be used, I expect, people will make sure of that


Well, according to the article, this designation *has* been in use [in its limited context of administrative forms/databases] for 20 years, and the OED editors are now *considering* including it... just as they are considering including all sorts of weird and wonderful chemical and computing symbols etc on a daily basis.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:55
English to Polish
+ ...
... May 11, 2015

Yeah, right, 'has been in use,' by like 5 people on the planet. I wish they'd finally get over the gender thing.

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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:55
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
I like it! May 11, 2015

Mx actually would be somewhat helpful for Chinese to English translations. Documents will often label someone 'Manager Wang' in Chinese. This presents a bit of a problem, as the more natural sounding translation is often Mr. Wang or Ms. Wang, except that without more information it's impossible to tell the gender of this individual. Enter 'Mx. Wang' !





[Edited at 2015-05-11 10:09 GMT]


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Gender neutral honorific Mx 'to be included' in the Oxford English Dictionary alongside Mr, Ms and Mrs and Miss

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