Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 09:26:57 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: Mouse/Mice=House/Hice What can we learn from all these mouses? I regard 'mice' in the computer world as an exception to the following general rule: GENERAL RULE: When an irregular form takes on extended, especially metaphoric, meaning, regularize it. Consider the following. The bird flew out - The batter flied out. *flew out The oxen pulled the wagon - They're a bunch of dumb oxes *dumb oxen And on and on (including the relatively bizarre fact that if someone went around sticking their thumb between a lot of people's legs up by their butts, they would be said to have given a lot of 'gooses,' certainly not 'geese.'). Note that 'mice' was already waffling in an earlier metaphoric sense ('Be men, not mice' ['mouses'?]), although, as with all good general rules there are numerous exceptions (e.g., 'drove' in golf, 'froze' in sports). Would a feature-based semantic analysis show which of these are most likely to preserve irregularity or would such preservation more likely be based on the phonological and/or morphological status of the item in question? Nice project, huh? Dennis Preston