Image Description: What’s in a Word?: Mx.

Full description of the featured image for the post “What’s in a Word?: Mx.”:

Title: What’s in a Word?

In bold, underneath: “MX.”

Text underneath says:

Mx. (noun)
a non-binary or gender-neutral title of courtesy, equivalent to Ms., Mrs., and Mr.

How is it used? Mx. is in use both as a non-binary-specific title by people who are not exclusively women or men and as a gender-neutral title by those who desire to be addressed without being gendered in the process. These uses often conflict with each other.

Should I use it? If you are non-binary and it speaks to you, go for it! If you’re communicating with or about someone who uses Mx., yes, you must use it in order to respect them. If you are not non-binary/trans and you are compelled by the idea of a gender-neutral title, use care. Don’t use Mx. flippantly or in a universal manner.

Offer respect. English speakers need more ways to confer respect that don’t depend on gender. Mx. isn’t the only title non-binary people use, and many people, of all/no genders, prefer no title. Instead of requiring titles and/or assuming a person’s title based on their name, give people the chance to tell you how to most respectfully refer to them, and then follow their wishes.

At the bottom of the graphic, the paper the words appear on emerges from a typewriter. Above the typewriter ribbon is the black text www. copyeditor. com with the red word “radical” inserted so that, edited, it reads www. radicalcopyeditor. com.

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 Why does this page exist? Because folks who are blind and depend on screen readers can’t tell what’s in an image without a description, and an image like this one deserves a more thorough description than can be provided via alt text. You can learn more about web accessibility from WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind.