The Phonetic Problems with Latinx

Progressive Latino pollster: 98% of Latinos do not identify with “Latinx” label

"Latinx" is uniquely bad because it violates the sound feel of both English and Spanish. Nobody in either language knows how to pronounce it, it's ugly and ungainly, it doesn't fit any natural rules English or Spanish speakers would be familiar with. It matters that it's a broken word in both languages -- if it were valid in Spanish, it might gain legitimacy from being "more authentic" than our English words. But since it's an ugly, broken word, and words gain legitimacy by being used, the market share of "Latinx" is severely capped.

In fact, because this word is so unnatural to use, it's almost entirely used by people who have been "educated" into using it. This exposes something of its real design -- it's used because it's difficult and weird. There is a certain political set that benefits from codifying and employing new Correct Manners. "Latinx" is the peak of this trend, because it's the ugliest of all neu-phemisms. Anyone can use a word that's woke and easy, but you get much more value from signaling by using a word that's woke and work.

And while it's easy to make fun of, I could also imagine Latinos getting fed up with the ugliness of the word but still adopting the Very Online attitude in spirit. "Latinos" is accepted as the gender-neutral term... for now. "Him" used to be the gender neutral pronoun, before a generation of academics started aggressively using "she," "s/he," and "he or she," until many people started using singular "they" to avoid all the different complexities. I've seen a few instances of "Latine" recently -- the future compromise? It's easy to imagine "Latinx" marking Peak Woke, or just being abandoned in practice but inspired in spirit.