The remaining problem, such as it is, stems from singular words that refer to people and have only two gender options: One must be a Latino or a Latina, a niño or a niña, with no special third option for the nonbinary. This is true as far as it goes; if one sees the fact that there are two sexes as so offensive that it is worth rewriting a language to avoid any suggestion of it, I suppose Spanish is problematic. But the fact that this is the best argument for “Latinx” is the reason it is used almost exclusively by radical progressives and professional activists, and has gained little traction in common usage despite its 15-year lifespan. America, its Hispanics included, is far from accepting the kind of theory wrapped up in this argument. To try to push that extreme position on the general public is a fool’s errand.

There are a few other reasons for the word’s failure to take hold as well. One is that people are just tired of being presented new words to use for the particular group of people that “Latinx” is meant to represent. An argument to this effect was made on Gabriel Iglesias’s otherwise insufferable propaganda/comedy Netflix show, Mr. Iglesias. Confronted by a student outraged at the use of “Latino” over “Latinx” in a pamphlet, Iglesias’s character recounts the endless litany of new words that have been used to indicate his racial and ethnic characterization over his lifetime. The constant change causes inevitable confusion, and the lack of a common word makes it difficult, just as a practical matter, for a broad community of people to come together in the way “Latinx” activists surely want them to.