Dictionary Publishers Considering 'Mx.' Title as Transgender Version of 'Mr.,' 'Mrs.'

The Oxford English Dictionary.
The Oxford English Dictionary. | (Photo: Reuters)

English Dictionary publishers are considering the possibility of adding a new honorific term alongside "Mr.," "Mrs." and "Miss."

Recently an assistant editor with the Oxford English Dictionary stated that the transgender title of "Mx" may soon be added to their list of honorific terms.

Jonathan Dent, assistant editor on the OED, explained to the Sunday Times earlier this week about the new addition.

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"This is an example of how the English language adapts to people's needs," said Dent, adding that its "people using language in ways that suit them."

Emily A. Brewster, associate editor with Merriam-Webster, Inc., told The Christian Post that the British-based dictionary publisher planning to add Mx. was unsurprising.

"Contrary to what some news outlets have reported, the OED does not yet include the honorific Mx. We're not surprised, though, that its editors are considering adding the term," said Brewster.

"Mx. is used increasingly on various official forms in the U.K., as well in British newspapers and periodicals."

Regarding whether or not American English dictionaries will add the term, Brewster noted the contrast of popular usage between the United Kingdom and the U.S.

"Evidence of Mx in the US (or Mx., as it's styled over here) is far sparser, but we are monitoring its development and will be interested to see if it takes root here in the same way it has in the U.K.," explained Brewster to CP.

According to Dent of OED, usage of the term "Mx" is not unprecedented, and can be dated at last as far back as 1977 in the issue of an American magazine titled "Single Parent."

"he early proponents of the term seem to have had gender politics as their central concern [and] saw the title as one which could sidestep the perceived sexism of the traditional 'Mr.,' 'Mrs.' and 'Miss,'" said Dent to the Times.

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