I was applying for a job and the HR person replied to me. I replied back regarding some questions asked. From the name, I inferred that the person was a man and replied with

Dear Mr. ABC,

Later in the day I looked up the person's profile on the internet only to discover that they are actually a woman! What should I do now? What should I say to her?

I have learned my lesson to actually look up the person in the conversation first.

  • 2
    @Acccumulation Be very careful with gender-neutral titles or pronouns. Virtually all of them are new, contrived or non-standard and they're only slowly gaining acceptance and recognition. "Mx" in particular seems to be a UK-specific version. – Lilienthal Nov 30 '17 at 8:16
  • 2
    If you're sending a message to a company with a liberal culture, you'll probably have more success with using their first name. – Erik Nov 30 '17 at 8:29
  • 4
    @Acccumulation I've never heard of "Mx", I'd advise against using that. In terms of unknown gender, I'd go with the traditional Sir/Madam. – user44108 Nov 30 '17 at 8:32
  • 3
    @Acccumulation Most people would find it odd if you used Mx. I would probably be offended if someone referred to me as that. Why not just say Sir/Madam like people have been doing since the beginning of time? – ayrton clark Nov 30 '17 at 9:42

I wouldn't make too big a thing about it.

Make sure you get it correct from now on, and apologise if they reply correcting your mistake, but I wouldn't go calling attention to it.

The same goes as far as getting any honorific (Dr, Reverend, etc) wrong.

  • 4
    People with names that are gender-confusing are usually quite used to the mistake and shouldn't get upset about it. (Personally, I usually don't even bother to correct the mistake. When I was born "Loren" was male, "Lauren" was female. Now there is no male.) – Loren Pechtel Nov 30 '17 at 1:47
  • 2
    @LorenPechtel there are still a few "Lorne"s, though. – Acccumulation Nov 30 '17 at 3:20
  • 1
    @Acccumulation A few. Wolfram Alpha says there are about 6 new ones a year. – Loren Pechtel Nov 30 '17 at 23:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.