Skip to comments.They’re Dropping Like Middle Initials
Posted on 07/12/2014 10:53:55 PM PDT by jocon307
In 1991, I was preparing to publish my first book, about a year I spent teaching junior high school in Japan. Stephen Birmingham, the author of Our Crowd and an acquaintance of my parents, offered to give me a blurb but recommended one change: that I drop the middle initial from my name on the cover. As a 26-year-old, baby-faced writer, I was eager to appear older and more sophisticated, so I ignored him.
Ive regretted it ever since.
I thought of that incident this spring when the actress Ann B. Davis from The Brady Bunch died at 88. Her middle initial, so central to her name, seemed so out of place in the more casual air of contemporary life. Was it just my ear or had Mr. Birmingham been right all along? Is the middle initial in decline?
The short answer is yes. John Q. Public has spoken: Time to K.O. the Q.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I have a middle initial and use it on really important, legal stuff, like my driver's license, etc.
I have no problem with it, or my middle name which I like a good deal. But my names are not very common ones and it has seemed cluttering.
But, for my grandchild, I think his middle name and initial will be important to him.
And, years ago I knew a gal whose given name (yes on her birth certificate) was just 2 initials.
Hard to think she wasn't short changed.
Just throwing this out there and checking back in a little while!
Thought maybe this was like the Clinton people prying the W off the keyboards in the Whitehouse. When your last President was known by his middle initial, and the current President thinks referring to his is racist, this is not only not true but sounds like a strictly Democrat problem. So much for light.
Can’t see how a middle name isn’t even MORE important now than it ever has been.
If you havn’t been confused with someone else yet, just wait. At least a legal middle name gets you out of most of the mess. The odds of there being more than one or two other people in your state with the exact same first, last and middle name even spelled the same is pretty darn low unless you have a very common name.
It will only make the use of NUMBERS to identify us more common and accepted. That isn’t something we should ever encourage.
You know, I didn’t even think of this until now, but. me and my 2 brothers have middle names which are also our Saint’s names, so yes that was important. Grandchild too! I think some of our first names are saint’s names (at least one for sure) but that was not the scheme, if you know what I mean, nothing sneaky about it.
I rarely use my middle name but always sign my with only the initials of my first and middle names and my full last name. Easier, like the way it looks.
One or two other people in my state with my name. There are two other people that I know of in my neighborhood and at least a few more in my city and I am not related to any of them. I don’t even have a common name.
True story: I did a Google search on my full legal name. I didn’t expect any exact match hits (other than myself) because my first name is English but the middle & last names are French. The second hit was an obituary for a guy in North Carolina;further down the page there was another guy living in Louisiana who had the same name. My odds of uniquely identifying myself by name only are still reasonable, though, because like all good French-Canadian Catholics I have four names.
Numbers have always been in use, but it was to identify with families, most commonly by generation.
I have a cousin whose name is AJ.
Since my son (disillusioned from divorce and now yukking it up in NYC) isn’t ever likely to have kids, my daughter started giving her girls my last name as their middle name. All three girls share the same middle name. Ava, Brandi, and Carmen are the first names. Ha ha...
I guess they’re gonna catch come crap about it sooner or later.
The rule in the Screen Actors’ Guild is that every actor has to have a unique name. If an actor has a name that’s already taken, they have to change it or throw in a middle name or initial. That’s why we have Ann B. Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael J. Fox, etc.
Ann B. Davis probably had that initial because there was another Ann Davis who belonged to Equity/SAG/AFTRA, the actors unions. This is why you see so many initials in actors’ names.
In the changing department, Nathan Lane was born Joseph Lane and was always called Joe. Once he joined the unions, he became Nathan. Worked for him!
I do the same thing, sign with my initials and last name. I know several people who use their middle name as their primary name and their first name is initialed (E. John Doe).
Drop the middle initial, but hyphenate your last name. John Q. Public is now Joe Six-Pack.
In the South, middle names are often used in place of first names. My husband used his middle name as his first, and two of my daughter in laws use their middle name as a first.
Now my half Japanese grand-daughter has a Japanese first name and an American middle name. The Japanese do not give middle names but this middle name was given to honor my mother.
And then there is Jim Bob Dugger, but that’s a whole nother story.
When I married I had one of the most common names ever. In fact, there are 2 people with the same name just down the street. I get their mail all the time and I bet they get mine
About 20 years ago, I was working with an Indian immigrant who was fascinated with everything American. One day, he mentioned to me, very excitedly, that he had just discovered that Americans have middle names, just as Indians do.
He then asked me what the the middle name is used for in this country.
My answer: Mainly to let children know when they were in serious trouble. If I was called by my full name, including middle name, I knew I was about to get walloped.
Is this true?
Actors ought to be named like race horses, give them 18 spaces and let ‘er rip.
My father was a Jr. but he and my mom didn’t want my brother to be a III, so they went with what I think is a Canadian tradition and gave my brother my father’s first name but a completely different middle name. In the family we ALWAYS called him by the middle name, but in school and at work he’s never insisted on that and goes by the first name.
There is another Canadian tradition I’ve heard of, Catholic French Canadian, in which all girls get Mary as a first name, but then just use their second name. This caused some problems for a woman my mother knew slightly when she went to enroll her 2 daughters in school - and yes I think it was a Catholic school.
That’s a good bit of trivia!
This is true!
My 3 siblings and I all have 2 middle names. My mom is weird.
I just hope the trailer park keeps cranking out guys with the middle name Wayne, so I know to stay away from them.
She prepared things in case any of you wanted to become Oxford Scholars, they always have 3 initials!
“There is another Canadian tradition Ive heard of, Catholic French Canadian, in which all girls get Mary as a first name, but then just use their second name. This caused some problems for a woman my mother knew slightly when she went to enroll her 2 daughters in school - and yes I think it was a Catholic school.
Exactly that way in my mother’s family. She,and her sisters,went by their middle names their entire long lives.
They were born in Nova Scotia and all had Mary as their first name at baptism. I didn’t even know this until I was in my twenties.
I was in my mid forties before some one pointed out my intitals pronounced out EVIL...(EVL)
I was Wowed, I never made the connection myself.
It's been kind of a pain my whole life to have people address me by my first name.
And virtually NOBODY can pronounce my last name correctly.
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