Ask Amy: Forms of address evolve all the way to M
Dear Amy: How should I address an email or letter to someone I don't know well who uses "they" pronouns? My specific problem is determining how to appropriately address my business emails and letters without assuming excessive familiarity, since I may not know all of the recipients well.
I continue to use "Dear Ms. Surname" and "Dear Mr. Surname" as my default for people who identify as she/her and he/him.
Only today did I realize that I am completely at a loss as to how to be equally considerate of people who identify as they/them. Thank you for your guidance.
Dear Stumped: I love your question!
Remember when “Ms.” was all the rage? As in inciting all the rage?
Well, Ms. now seems slightly stodgy.
A gender-neutral form of address that has emerged (to replace Ms. and Mr. and Sir/Madam) is “Mx.”
I like it! It’s got that edgy: “Sorry, I can’t talk right now because I’m out wakeboarding” vibe.
(There are other honorifics to choose from, including the always-elegant “M.”)