Computer Mice or Mouses?

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at COX.NET
Wed Mar 21 18:04:17 UTC 2012

On 3/21/2012 12:18 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Computer Mice or Mouses?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Does anybody actually use the whole phrase "computer mouses"?
> Oh. Google says that 169,000 people do, more or less. And that AHD endorses
> both.

I swore an oath that I was not going to post to this list for a while,
and I have composed and scrapped several replies on this topic (the
preceding needs no additional comment) but I am weak.

In my experience "meese" is only used in attempts at humor and only in
the sense that Mr. Jinks would use it.

"Mouses" and "mice" are both heard, but in thinking about it I don't
think the is a flavor (dunno what the Official Claptrap is) of
genericness where somebody might say "Please send a tech up with some
mouse balls, somebody has neutered all the mice in the first three rows
again?  If talking about specifics, I think people would say "I prefer
Logitec mouses to the junk mice that come in the box with a new computer.

And nobody asked, but I think the general problem has been around a long
time--my father used to tell the story of the tailor who was trying to
order new devices for his shop, and who went through several iterations
of "gooses-geese" and finally says "Please send me a new goose, model
number..... and then he writes P.S. Please send me three more like that.

No. I am not kidding:

I'll just grab my coat...I can let myself out.

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