Only 3% of people of Latin American origin in the United States use the term “Latinx,” according to a new poll, which reports that some consider it an “unnecessary ‘anglicism’ of the Spanish language’ to include transgender individuals.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the poll is “the first major poll on the topic by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center,” and also ” found that roughly three out of four Latinos in the U.S. hadn’t even heard of the term” Latinx.
The Times explained the origins of the term:
Latinx, which emerged online and in academia in the early 2000s, is the most recent attempt to rectify a perceived long-standing problem in Spanish-rooted words that appear in American English: the gendering of nouns that end in “o” (masculine) or “a” (feminine). Accepting “Latino” as the default term for a mixed-gender group of people reinforces patriarchy, Latinx proponents say, and excludes people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming.
Previously, academics experimented with the textual use of “Latin@” in an attempt to resolve the problem, which was pronounced as “Latino/Latina.” (Latinx is pronounced as “Latin-ex.”) Still others have advocated “Latine” as another gender-neutral alternative.
There is, however, no Spanish equivalent for the supposed “problem” of gender in the Spanish language, which is common among other languages, particularly the Romance family of languages, and applies to most existing nouns.
Among poll respondents, the young, English-speaking, college-educated, and Democratic Party-supporting were likeliest to have heard the term:
Young Hispanics (ages 18-29) were the most likely to have heard of Latinx, at 42%, the study found. Other subsets with more awareness of the term included the college-educated, those who are English-dominant and Democratic or Democratic-leaning respondents. The lowest levels of awareness were found among the Spanish-dominant, those who are foreign-born, respondents who identify as Republicans and those with a high school diploma or less.
Even among Latinx-aware young Hispanics, the study found, only 7% used the term.
Pew also found that “some felt Latinx is an unnecessary ‘anglicism’ of the Spanish language, or ‘not representative of the larger Latino community.'”
Despite the obscurity of “Latinx,” the University of California San Diego banned “Latino” in favor of “Latinx” in 2018. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who is of Puerto Rico heritage, also says she prefers the term “Latinx.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.