Via my niece A., who is among the most progressive people I know, I have come to learn more about neopronouns.

Culturally I am a member of an interesting generation: those younger than I are completely down with pronoun fluidity, those older have a tendency to couch their acceptance, if acceptance is indeed something they can muster, with “yes, but it makes everything sound so awkward.”

I have some familiarity with progressive language upgrades, as the honorific Ms (as an alternative to Miss or Mrs.) came of age on a timeline that almost exactly mirrored my own:

Google Ngram Viewer charts showing the rise in prominence of the term Ms in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, with a dramatic drop after 2000

As such, I’ve been referring to women as Ms for my entire life, and it’s never seemed anything other than natural and proper.

(It’s likely time that Ms gets supplemented with a non-gendered honorific like Mx).

Which is to say: what feels weird on the tongue but just in the heart will soon, with repeated use, become part of how we speak naturally.

All of which leads me to bravx, which appears to have some early tentative use as a non-gendered alternative to the masculine bravo and the feminine brava. This post is a bookmark to come back to in future years to see how that worked out.


James's picture
James on January 22, 2021 - 23:42 Permalink

So how exactly is "bravx" pronounced then? "brave X"?

I too have always used Ms and it has always felt right. That said, I have no qualms with changing my speech to match what someone else would prefer. I just would hope that people don't get angry during the time it takes to become accustom to using the new words, and can simply, politely, correct me as I get it wrong in real time.

vbj's picture
vbj on January 23, 2021 - 09:44 Permalink

I was just introduced to alumnx in place of --the always worrisome to me who did not take Latin--alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae.