“The Gender-Neutral Prefix “Mx.” Has Been Added To The Oxford English Dictionary, Because Not Everyone Is A Mr. Or A Ms.”
by Joanne von Spanien
Yes, I’m transitioning and non-binary. But I’ve always felt conflicted about this linguistic topic simply because GENDER NEUTRAL WORDS HAVE NEVER REALLY CAUGHT ON! EVER!
Also, my fellow genderqueers, in English, pronouns are what linguists call a “closed word class.” This means that, unlike adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc., you cannot just coin a new one. Interestingly, this is not the case for all languages, like Japanese, but I digress.
So I’m totally fine with the singular “they”, which has been around for centuries. But the problem is, once you know a person well, even “they” seems to be a little like, I don’t know, impersonal, cold.
I’ve been gravitating toward feminine pronouns, but that’s maybe just cos I’m like, “Yay, I’m on estradiol now!” Normally I’ve just queerly leapt ‘twixt both.
Now, in Oxford’s defense, Mrs, Miss, Mr., Mx are just normal nouns, not pronouns. But, as much as I would like this to catch on, I just feel like there’s numerically too few of us for that to happen…