Is the middle initial going extinct?

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Is The Middle Initial Going Extinct?

When thinking of middle initials, certain celebs come to mind: Mary J. Blige, Michael J. Fox and maybe even some former presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush.

Well ... using a middle initial might soon be a thing of the past, according to a writer for The New York Times. He says the usage of a middle initial is declining, and he uses politics as an example.

Check out these celebs who love their middle initials:
celebs who use their middle initial
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Is the middle initial going extinct?
Actor Michael J. Fox sits beside his wife Tracy Pollan as they watch the Brooklyn Nets face the Philadelphia 76ers their NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Author Hunter S. Thompson signals the 'v' for victory sign as he leaves the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen, Colo., Tuesday, May 22, 1990, during a recess ina preliminary hearing where Thompson faces five felony charges ranging from possession of drugs to possession of explosives. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Mary J Blige is seen performing on stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival Concert - Day 3 at Superdome on Saturday, Jul 05, 2014 in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by [Donald Traill/Invision/AP)
This is an undated photo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt sailing off Campobello Island, Canada, where he has a summer home. The Island is linked to neighboring Maine by a bridge. (AP Photo)
393244 05: William F. Buckley Jr. makes an appearance at Barnes and Nobles bookstore to promote his new book, 'Elvis In The Morning' August14, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Diane L. Cohen/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline arrive at Dallas Love Field, Nov. 22, 1963, the day he was assassinated. (AP Photo/files)
This March 20, 2014 photo released by Starpix shows author and co-executive producer George R.R. Martin at a fan event showing the fourth season premiere of the HBO series "Game of Thrones," in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Amanda Schwab)
Actor George C. Scott is pictured at his home in Malibu, Calif., Monday, Oct. 21, 1996. (AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)
U.S. Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. speaks to troops in his new command located somewhere in the European theater of operations on April 22, 1944. Patton arrived in Britain to assume new duties as one of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief lieutenants for the invasion of Western Europe during World War II. (AP Photo)
This is an undated photo of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War at an unknown location. (AP Photo)

"In 1900, 84 percent of Congress - that's senators and representatives - used a middle initial. By 1970, the number had dipped to 76 percent. Today, it's 38 percent."

But not everyone is hopping on the "drop the middle initial" train. Anchors on ABC seemed to want to fight for the cause:

"I think actually it's a really nice tradition. We should keep it."
"I think so."
"I do, too."
"We're saying that right here. Let's get behind this one."
"We are united on this front."

The trend might have to do with what seems like a decline in the use of middle names.

The Advertiser observed the trend in south Australia in 2010.

"Births, Deaths and Marriages figures show 957 girls and 976 boys born in SA last year were not given middle names."

The New York Times writer also pointed out baby boomers used middle names much more often than millennials did. He spoke with a University of Louisville professor who said:

"​Most millennials in particular tend to want to be more egalitarian ... and the use of a middle initial would be perceived to be classist."

Egalitarianism is the belief in human equality, and classicism is unfair treatment based on class. In other words, the professor suggests millennials are starting to view middle initials in a negative light.

And if we're making observations, we'd dare say the use of only a first name is on the rise. Think of younger stars such as Rihanna, Shakira and Zendaya.

One exception, the NYT writer notes, seems to be women in power positions, perhaps trying to conceal their gender.

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