Re: Mouse: Mouses or mice?

Subject: Re: Mouse: Mouses or mice?
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 09:52:50 CST

Jim Grey asks:

|} Gentle people:
|} When speaking of a mouse as a computer control device, is the plural
|} "mice" or "mouses"?

Reminds me of the tailor who was franchising his shop and opening
a dozen new locations. He had to write to the company that made his
tailor's goose and get more. At first he wrote, "Please send me one
dozen tailor's gooses."

He thought that looked funny, so he tried again. "Please send me one
dozen tailor's geese." He didn't like that either, so he ended up
writing, "Please send me one tailor's goose. Sincerely. P.S. Oh,
what the heck, make it a dozen.

It is a very similar situation actually. The plural of a tailor's
goose is gooses. If you say that someone has a mouse under one eye,
they have mouses under both eyes, unless you are being cute. Similarly,
since we are dealing with mechanical devices rather than taxonomical
ones, the only time that you should refer to a pair of mechanical
mouses as mice is when you are trying to be humorous. However, since
they tend to be one to a customer like tailor's gooses, the number of
times that you are forced to use this convention should be small.

/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "Read over your compositions and, when you
meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out"
-- Samuel Johnson

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