Friday, October 15, 2004

AUE: FAQ excerpt: "mouses" vs "mice"

AUE: FAQ excerpt: "mouses" vs "mice":

Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age says:
What's the plural of that small, rolling pointing device invented
by Douglas Engelbart in 1964? We prefer ~mouses~. ~Mice~ is just
too suggestive of furry little creatures. But both terms are
common, so take your pick.

The Microsoft(R) Manual of Style for Technical Publications
(ed. Amanda Clark, Microsoft Press, 1995, ISBN 1-55615-939-0)
says: 'Avoid using the plural mice; if you need to refer to more
than one mouse, use mouse devices.'

I personally would rather use the term "mouses". I mean, why should the computer mouse follow the same special plural form of the animal mouse when they are completely different? Alas, some conservative grammarians might get angry, so I'll just settle with "mouse devices" for now, to keep them calm. :-)