Is the middle initial going extinct?

Is The Middle Initial Going Extinct?
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:

"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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