pseudomonas: (eyebrow)
[personal profile] pseudomonas
You've been linked, possibly by me, to this post because you had

a) a non-optional request for title
b) that didn't include my title (or the title of the person that pointed you here it).

Solutions to this include:

a) make "title" optional (you can always address people as Dear Forename Surname!)
b) make title a field which the customer can type in themselves
c) Just don't collect title at all

Frequently Questioned Answers

A: How about you tell us what your title is, and we'll sort it out manually
Q: Is that actually going to solve your problem?

A: Can't we just have a longer list of titles?
Q: How long a list do you want? There are a lot of titles out there!

A: But we don't actually want to know your title, we want to know your gender
Q: Is it any of your business what my gender is? If it really really is then maybe explain why. If it's so you can better stereotype marketing emails, then no, it isn't.
Q2: You know that asking non-binary people if they're male or female is really quite rude, don't you? If you don't, try on for size "Are you Christian or Muslim? Just pick whichever one is a better fit. No, 'Buddhist' isn't an option, so just pick the closest of 'Christian' or 'Muslim'. It doesn't really matter, it's just our system needs to know. Because it does. Surely everyone's *basically* Christian or Muslim? No? Well, try describing your genitalia to me and I'll guess for you". If you want a title that is suitable for non-binary people, use "Mx" — but that still won't
help you with the set of your clientele that are Dr/Revd/Rabbi/Dame/Major/Prof/etc. etc.

More comprehensive reasons why this is bad practice; UK Government advice says this as well.

[This entry is CC0 - anyone may copy it and modify it for any purpose without attribution or permission. Please feel encouraged to paste it into emails or create your own improved version]

Date: 2016-02-08 12:05 pm (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
Oh, awesome. I might use that and/or write my own version.

Date: 2016-02-08 12:31 pm (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Happy)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
Go you! ^_^


Date: 2016-02-08 12:39 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Thank you!

Date: 2016-02-08 01:44 pm (UTC)
sparrowsion: female house sparrow (female house sparrow)
From: [personal profile] sparrowsion
Thank you!

Date: 2016-02-08 04:04 pm (UTC)
gerald_duck: (mallard)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
A point possibly worth emphasising: making titles optional is not just a measure for people who don't want to say, or whose title isn't included in the list. Many people reject the idea of using titles at all. Indeed, my own leanings in this respect are decidedly Quaker!

More generally, titles are on my informal list (that I keep meaning to write up as a well-cited proper blog entry) of things which are much, much more complicated than they first seem. Then again, people's names are also on my list.


pseudomonas: (Default)

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