ok child of mine has a way of thinking deeply. doing a lesson on plurals in school, plural of mouse is mice. he says Mom what about computer mouse? I thought humm I think it would be mouses? what do you think ? As in I am holding a box full of broken computer mouses. Is that right?
What is the plural for computer mouse?
In: Computer Mouse, Plural Nouns [Edit categories]
The plural of mouse (small furry creature) is mice, so one might think that the plural of the pointing device would also be mice. However, the two words have undergone a differentiation through usage. According to Garner's Modern American Usage best practice is to pluralize it mouses. That also goes for timid people ("When it comes to warfare, he's a real mouse. In fact, he comes from a long line of mouses"). Similarly, whereas the plural of louse, the small wingless insect, is lice, the plural of louse, the cad, is louses.
Etymology and plural
The first known publication of the term "mouse" as a pointing device is in Bill English's 1965 publication "Computer-Aided Display Control".
The Compact Oxford English Dictionary (third edition) and the fourth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language endorse both computer mice and computer mouses as correct plural forms for computer mouse. Some authors of technical documents may prefer either mouse devices or the more generic pointing devices. The plural mouses treats mouse as a "headless noun."
Two manuals of style in the computer industry – Sun Technical Publication's Read Me First: A Style Guide for the Computer Industry and Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications from Microsoft Press – recommend that technical writers use the term mouse devices instead of the alternatives.
Mouse device is grammatically incorrect, as they are both nouns but mouse is being used as a modifier on device, which is only permitted for an adjective. "Mousy device" is grammatically correct but confusing because the adjectival form of mouse is used only with the meaning of shy..."Brenda is a nice person, just a little mousy."
A mouse is a kind of pointing device. That is correct as "pointing" is a modifier on device, it tells what the device does.
Think about it this way, you can call what you look at your computer's "display device," but a CRT is not a "screen device."
Technical speak is full of problems like this. For the longest time, IBM had its own spelling. grammar and terms that were different from the rest of the industry. IBM used "disc" whereas most everyone else used "disk", for example.
I think I disagree but I'm not absolutely certain that I do.
The question, as I understood it was - [is "mouses" correct in a computer speak setting?"].
"Mouse devices" acceptability does not hinge on it's grammatical correctness.
"My bad" is grammatically suspect but, quite acceptable in many circles. I could list a whole lot more but, I won't bore you.
Notwithstanding your grammatical criticism, I think the complete answer to Cherie's question is:
are all acceptable.
I voted for mouses, but if you want to use "device" after it (or "pointer" or anything else, thus making "mouse" into an adjective), "mousal device" would be a lot more fun than "mousy device." :)
Unfortunately for the idea that we must change mouse to make it into an adjective, there is plenty of precedent for making nouns into adjectives without having to change them, look at "house," for example. House fly, house paint, house fire.
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