Date: Fri, 15 Sep 1995 06:56:23 -0500

From: jeffrey howard allen jhallen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]INDIANA.EDU

Subject: ?Mice/Mouses

I teach technical writing systems and translation system with many folks

who have always used DOS applications and are now starting to use the

windows-based environment with a mouse. If you notice in the tutorials

and manuals for many applications on the market today, only the singular

"mouse" is used because you will only have 1 mouse connected to your

computer/workstation. So there is no standard that I know of set up in

technical documentation.

As for the users, I have heard more the natives of the central Illinois

area here at work use "mouses". This is difficult to judge as they are

from the socio-cultural spectrum. I even know one person who has been a

teacher for a number of years and is familar with computers a bit that

uses "mouses"

I always have used "mice" because I was always told that it was the

irregular plural of "mouse" and taught it that way overseas for a number

of years. However, I do see myself divert to the plural "mouses"

if I am doing one-on-one mentoring with a person who uses that form,

though I continue to use "mice" in the classroom. Call me schizophrenic

about rodents or computer accessories, but I do find that it lets my

customer feel more comfortable. Now, what will happen when I use "mice"

in class, and I mentor that person later and use "mouses". Will need to

find out.

Just yesterday evening my wife used the same kind of construction in

French as we were talking about a foreigners who come to the States and

kill themselves by working several part-time jobs the same day. My wife

said "Elle a trois travails par jour". I looked at her and said that

this seemed funny because in theory the plural is "travaux" but the

semantic content of "travaux" means global construction work or even a

collection of research studies that one does. The French language,

standard French that is, allows "aller au travail" (go to work) or "j'ai

du travail a faire" (I've got work to do), but it sounds really weird to

try and put that in the regular plural form "travaux" when talking about

several jobs that one does during the day. So my wife used the word

"travails". I thought about it even more with respect to a better plural

to use with a different word. What about "emploi"? Even "emplois" to

mean "jobs" as in several part-time jobs sounds a bit funny. Putting the

slang word "boulot" in the plural doesn't sound much better. Maybe it is

just a semantic issue that cannot be resolved so quickly. The French

always have an "employeur principal" (main employer) if they choose to

have some kind of secondary teaching job where they work for "heures

supplementaires" where the word "job" or "employer" is not used and

happens to overlap with the word for overtime work "heures

supplementaires". This may be something to investigate.

So, I don't think that a Mice/Mouse standard is set. It might reflect

regional uses, social levels, or something else. I've just learned to

adapt to my environment and use both.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 21:42:02 -0500


To: Multiple recipients of list ADS-L ADS-L[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UGA.CC.UGA.EDU

Subject: ?Mice/Mouses (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 12:05:39 -0400 (EDT)

From: David Stanley dstanley[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]


Subject: ?Mice/Mouses

I've had two patrons stump me recently with this question: What is the

correct plural term for the mouse that is used with a computer? The

people I've polled seem to be equally divided between mice and mouses.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


David Stanley


David H. Stanley Phone (412) 852-3278

Library Systems Administrator Fax (412) 627-4188

Waynesburg College Library email dstanley[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Waynesburg, PA 15370