Why some people are using the word ‘Latinx’ instead of Latina or Latino

Six letters make up a word that’s been the source of a lot of debate recently. The word is Latinx, and this year it was added to Merriam Webster’s dictionary. The adjective is defined as: of, relating to, or marked by Latin American heritage —used as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina.

Gabriela Garcia runs Modern Brown Girl and says the word first came up in 2006, “and then around 2014 it started making its way online and on social media.”

There are some critics that find the word disrespectful to the Spanish language since the language requires gendered nouns, with the plural form usually defaulting masculine.

Although the word hasn’t fully caught on, more people are starting to use it. On average, there are about 28,000 Google searches each month for the word Latinx.