Saturday, 21 November 2015

Computer Mouses or Computer Mice?

I was helping the IT guy sort out his cupboard a while ago and i was counting the items and he was writing it down so it was 15 keyboards, 7 mouse mats, 1 packet of out of date Rich Tea biscuits, 2 monitors and then we came to the 10 mouses, which i paused before calling them mice which led to a discussion over whether we say mouses or mice when there are more than one of them. 
To settle it we asked an English teacher who stroked his goatee for a while before cautiously coming down on the side of mouses but mainly to differentiate it from the rodent.
A Google search finds nearly 72 million results for 'computer mice' to only around 360,000 for 'computer mouses' but finally i thought i could get a definitive answer from the Oxford Dictionary which said that both are correct.
Refusing to take such a wishy-washy non-answer i contacted the The Centre for Computing History who have explained that: 'Technically, since 'mouse' is an acronym for 'Manually Operated User Select Equipment' they should be pluralised as 'Mouses'.
Sounds awkward i agree but i'm not going to argue with Computer historians but i will probably continue to call them mice anyway along with 72 million Google users.

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