[Ads-l] Latinx

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Mon Aug 24 04:53:35 EDT 2020

Dave Wilton everything that needs to be said.

The only reason I would like to add some points is because Michael
Everson's contribution contains some statements I find too questionable to
leave uncommented.

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 5:11 AM Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>

> > On 17 Aug 2020, at 20:50, Chris Waigl <chris at LASCRIBE.NET> wrote:
> >
> > The Latinx terminology is an effort to deal with a tiny aspect of how
> bigotry creeps into language.
> Nonsense.


Romance languages have grammatical gender. This is not bigotry.

It's a good thing, then, that I haven't claimed such a thing.

My sentence that you quoted above would indeed make a very very odd
introduction of what Latinx means. You left out its context, which was that
it was part of a first response to Jonathan Lighter's introduction of the
bigotry red herring ("turning an aesthetic issue like spelling into a
political issue like bigotry is wrongheaded and potentially destructive").
What I'm saying in the above sentence is that insofar that bigotry factors
into the choice of "Latinx" it plays an extremely minor role.

> Should actual speakers of such languages find a need to distinguish a
> third form for such nouns, -x will absolutely not be their choice.
> [...]
> But it’s not. It’s most likely monoglot English speakers saying “we need a
> substitute for “a” and “o” and why don’t we use the algebraic “x” because
> we remember it from high school maths” and so we get this silliness.

Why "most likely"? You were able to pick the parts out of the Wikipedia
article that you felt supported your point (FSVO), but were unable to find
the parts that talk about the origin of the term? There sure are enough
speakers of Spanish, or Americans of Spanish-speaking cultural origin,
involved. In any event, the discussion in this thread was never about
Latinx in *Spanish *but in *English. *

The uses I see that are explicit refer to people of Latino/a/x background
or identity who work and/or live in the United States, whether they grew up
there or not. I see the term used by both people of this background (I'm
thinking of an NPR host whose show I listen to) and of non-Hispanic
background, always with the understanding that the term is constructed to
be gender-inclusive.

I it well-constructed? Time will tell! Maybe you prefer Latin@? I see an
anthology of sci-fi writers came out in 2015 under the title "Latin@
Rising", and the 2020 edition is called "Latinx Rising". One of the artists
in it identifies as Latin at . They're born in Mexico, educated there and in
Brazil and work in the US.

Again, I'm making no judgement about the appropriateness or chances of
success or aesthetic qualities. I'm just writing on what I hear and
understand, and find the amount of spite and animus that what should be a
simple conversation about English usage in the United States quite


> Yes, silliness. Because I don’t know if it’s /laˈtineks/ or /laˈtiŋks/ and
> I don’t live anywhere where I can ask anyone and if it’s meant to be the
> former than it’s a _poor_ orthographic choice. If they want people to say
> /laˈtineks/ then they should write “latinex” because that form will elicit
> the pronunciation desired.
> But I doubt that speakers of Spanish or Portuguese have much interest in
> that. It’s not an endonym for them. It’s an exonym from the United States.
> The Wikipedia has an article on “Latinx”. From it:
> =====
> Reactions to the term have been mixed. Supporters say it engenders greater
> acceptance among non-binary Latinos by being gender-neutral and thus
> inclusive of all genders. Critics say the term does not follow traditional
> grammar, is difficult to pronounce, and is disrespectful toward
> conventional Spanish. Both supporters and detractors point to linguistic
> imperialism as a reason for respectively supporting or opposing the use of
> the term. A 2019 poll found that use of Latinx has grown to 2% nationwide
> in the United States (with a 5% margin of error). A 2020 Pew Research
> Center survey found that 23% of respondents had heard of the term, while
> 76% had not.[4] Of the respondents that had heard of "Latinx"; 3% used the
> term, while 12% "expressed disagreement or dislike of the term". The Royal
> Spanish Academy style guide does not recognize the suffix -x.
> Pronunciations of Latinx documented in dictionaries include /ləˈtiːnɛks,
> læ-, lɑː-, -nəks, ˈlætɪnɛks/ lə-TEE-neks, la(h)-, -⁠nəks, LAT-in-eks. Other
> variants respelled ad hoc as "Latins", "La-tinks", or "Latin-equis" have
> also been reported. Editors at Merriam-Webster surmised that "more than
> likely, there was little consideration for how it was supposed to be
> pronounced when it was created".
> =====
> M
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net . http://chryss.eu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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