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[personal profile] marnanightingale
I am enthusiastically in favour of addressing people as they wish to be addressed, and referring to them by the pronouns, etc, that they prefer, or, if lacking data, using 'they'.

And there has, thankfully, been a lot of discussion of the matter to help me get this right.

So now I am wondering about formal modes of address for general and specific addressing of people whose genders are non-binary.

[personal profile] staranise sensibly points out that when addressing groups, "Honoured Guests" may reasonably be used along with, or instead of, "Ladies and Gentlemen/Mesdames et Messieurs". (ETA [personal profile] anne adds "Amis Distingu├ęs")

Suitable substitutes for "Sir", "Madam" "Ma'am", "Mr." "Ms", "M.", "Mmme", and so forth, however, elude me.

Has anyone seen anything good on this?

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth. where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comment here or there as you prefer.

Date: 2014-02-08 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We're not there yet in real life, but Lois McMaster Bujold worked very hard to create gender-neutral titles for her Five Gods series (Curse of Chalion (one of the best fiction books I've ever read), Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt). For example, "Divine" and "Learned".

Date: 2014-02-08 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You *could* extend the honoured guests thing: refer to the person when introducing as "Honoured Guest". It wouldn't take long, if we all did it, to even make using that to address someone - "Would Honoured Guest care for a beverage?" sort of thing - sound totally normal. We're well over Madam Chairman in most places. Most customs sound normal because they are customary. Ahhahaha - I break myself up. Sorry - I meant that we use them so much that we don't listen to ourselves anymore.

Date: 2014-02-08 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like "distinguished friends" in English too. It works into sentences better than "honoured guests".

Date: 2014-02-08 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just use the person's name: "Dear Kaelon Jas" instead of "Dear Ms. Jas" or "Mr. Jas" if neither of them is appropriate; "Jas submitted Jas' proposal on October 19" rather than "his" proposal, etc.? or passive voice, "Jas' proposal was the only one to consider water usage."

Date: 2014-02-10 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My own preference: "Ladies, gentlemen, respected others..." I'm prepared to be persuaded to adapt to other options.

Date: 2014-02-12 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have some pals who seem to have adopted Mx in place of Mr or Ms!


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