Honorifics, and Why We Use ‘Mx.’

Honorifics, also known as titles, are something we interact with every day but don’t usually think about. Often, we use honorifics based on gender-role stereotypes, like Mr., Ms., or Mrs.

Others are an indicator of a profession, like Dr., or Esq. after someone’s name. What honorific can we use, though, if we want one that refers to everybody, including people outside the gender binary?

Mx. (pronounced “mix” or “mecks”) made its first appearance as a genderless honorific in the 1970s in the American magazine Single Parent, although it didn’t begin to see more regular usage until 1985. In recent years, starting in 2013, Mx. has come to be used in most government institutions in the United Kingdom, including the NHS, and the Royal Mail, and is available as a title on bank statements, driver licenses, and passports. In addition, many British businesses have begun use of the honorific. Mx. has also been included in the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary here in the United States.

With the usage of the honorific Mx. growing so rapidly, now is the perfect time to add it to our vocabulary.

Our company ethos is centered on intersectional feminism. We are dedicated to representing our authors from all walks of life, experiences, and perspectives. We choose to use Mx. as our default honorific, as we feel, as small as it may be, it’s a step in the right direction and a path forward towards normalizing inclusivity.


Sources:

Oxford: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/mx

W-B: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/mx-gender-neutral-title

PRI https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-03-14/british-mx-tape

Intersectional Feminism: https://femmagazine.com/feminism-101-what-is-intersectional-feminism/

Source for widespread usage in the UK:  https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/bjzdxv/gender-neutral-mx-title-officially-recognised-in-the-uk