A new gender neutral title 'Mx' is to join the honorifics 'Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms' on driving licences and other official documents, the first change to officially recognised titles in decades.
Royal Mail, high street banks, government departments and some universities all now accept Mx which is used by transgender people or other individuals who do not identify with a particular gender.
The title has been added, without fanfare, to official forms and databases and is under consideration by the Oxford English Dictionary for inclusion in its next edition.
Assistant editor of the dictionary, Johnathan Dent, was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying the move towards Mx was a sign of the English language's ability to adapt to an ever-changing society.
He explained it was the first time in recent history that commonly used and accepted titles had changed.
Mr Dent was quoted as saying it showed the way English could adapt to people's needs, rather than letting language dictate identity.
He said titles, whether on online drop-down boxes or elsewhere, tended to be formal and enforce traditional relationships such as those between husband and wife, as in Mr and Mrs, or even profession such as Dr or Lord.
'This is something new,' the assistant editor said.
The Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the NHS are among those public bodies now accepting the Mx title.