The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is considering adding the gender neutral honorific ‘Mx’, to be included alongside Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss, to represent transgender people and those who do not wish to identify their gender, for the first time.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Jonathan Dent, assistant editor on the OED, said the title is the first new honorific to be accepted as an addition to the current set of gender identifiers.
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”.
Each year new words and terms are chosen to be added to the OED due to the popularity of their use, and the Mx honorific has become included for people to use on a number of official documents over the past two years, from driving licences to bank accounts.
Brighton and Hove city council in Sussex included the honorific on its council forms two years ago after a vote favouring the gender-neutral term, and Royal Mail told The Sunday Times it had introduced Mx following requests from customers.
A number of banks include Mx as an option for its customers, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, which introduced it last year.