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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Computer mouses or computer mice?

Normally, the plural of mouse is mice when you are referring to those real rodents. However, in the case of a “mouse” used for the computer, can you still use the plural form “mice”, “computer mice” if you are referring to lots of computer mouse? “Computer mouses” i guess is not proper. What do you think?

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MICE!!

tasman Nov-09-2010

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The word mongoose comes from Marathi maṅgūs. The anglicized spelling has nothing to do with its plural form and, as is normal for most outlander words, it was given the regularized English 's' plural form.

AnWulf Feb-16-2012

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WOW... So many arguments for such a simple discussion!
If MOUSE is an acronym for "manually-operated user-select equipment" then it has nothing to do with the animal and therefore the plural form is not MICE... it is MOUSES!

LG Jan-18-2013

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MOUSE given it's name? Oh dear, you let yourself down there. Shame! Of course the plural is mice, just as it's name should be its name.

Brus Jan-22-2013

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I don't care w/c is correct! I think mice should be used for rodents and mouses for the device. ahahahah I love this topic! Just to ease boredom I stumbled to this! LOL This is a good topic for my co-teachers.

regine Oct-07-2013

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But isn't it just more humourful, more fun indeed, to call these devices mice? Is that indeed not why we do it, regardless of the stern, possibly even puritanical views of the dictionary makers?

Brus Feb-10-2014

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@WW I think wot this shews is that the suffix -ful is pretty much portable almost like an inflection, provided of course the result is meaning-ful.
Looks like the spelling follows the French pattern.

jayles the ungreedy Feb-10-2014

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@jayles - as long as it means 'full of' - here's a list of 332:
http://www.morewords.com/ends-with/ful/

Warsaw Will Feb-11-2014

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I call them "mice" because that's what I was taught is the plural of mouse. If I think someone is going to be confused by that, I add the word computer. Well, actually the real season I prefer "mice" is because my brother-in-law says "mouses".

mcooper61 May-13-2014

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If you call them mouses, do you pronounce with the z sound as in houses, or the s sound as in scouses? Both versions sound potty, as it cries out to be mice. I like mice. They have tried to eradicate them, and get us to trail our fingers over the screen to get it to do things, and tap, and stuff, but all along mice do the tricks with a few clicks - much better.

Brus May-13-2014

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I have no grice with those points. Or is it singular, as there is none? So I have no grouse with those points. There we go then ...

Brus May-16-2014

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I now know more about computer M.O.U.S.E than I ever will really need to know. But thank you, I had the same question, I'm writing a paper for school.

Gummy Jan-15-2015

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Neither is just mouse as plural

A mouse is a mouse and mice are mice - whether electronic or furry !

Felicity Leith-Ross Jan-10-2017

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I've always taken the stance that NEITHER is the correct answer. The plural of mouse (when referring to the computer accessory) is "mouse". As in, "I have one mouse for my desktop computer, but I bought two more mouse when I needed one for each of my traveling bags with laptops."

like 'Sheep' or 'moose' or 'fish' or many other words in English

user107426 Nov-19-2018

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@whitneygallienNO
Please spell check and fix the grammatical errors in your answer. Thank you
Technically, since "mouse" is an acronym for "manually-operated user-select equipemtn," it sound probably be pluralized as "mouses."

viper0925 Mar-10-2019

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It's funny. Even in 2019 the dictionary still hasn't decided and instead has listed both mouses and mice. LOL! Look at #4.
mouse (mous)
n. pl. mice (mīs)
1.
a. Any of numerous small rodents of the families Muridae and Cricetidae, such as the house mouse, characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail.
b. Any of various similar or related animals, such as the jumping mouse, the vole, or the jerboa.
2. A cowardly or timid person.
3. Informal A discolored swelling under the eye caused by a blow; a black eye.
4. pl. mice or mous·es (mous′ĭz) Computers A handheld, button-activated input device that when rolled along a flat surface directs an indicator to move correspondingly about a computer screen, allowing the operator to move the indicator freely, as to select operations or manipulate text or graphics.

user107942 May-17-2019

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It's called a mouse, I suppose because it reminds us of one. It looks similar to one, but, it is only a nickname. Actually, it is a computer input device so it could just as well be called a 'cid'. The plural of computer mouse can be either mice or mouses because it is only a nickname and therefore the plural is undefined. I prefer mouses. My nickname is Butch and if in the company of another nicknamed Butch I would prefer Butchs' to the alternative.

user108019 Jun-18-2019

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One sheep, two sheep, three sheep (yawn);

The plural of 'mouse' devices is also mouse (i've just decided); so its...

One mouse, two mouse, three mouse, three blind mouse

ewdark Jun-12-2010

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If we can survive with, "one sheep, two sheep," why can't we live with "one mouse, two mouse."

fmerton Nov-29-2010

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"Unless of course they are the sort of people who do not approve of prepositions at the end of sentences, when we do well to ignore them" --Stevens

This sort of rule monger-er seems to me the majority of those posting messages on this board. Of course the particular rule you mention is now disgraced, but there are plenty of others. Also, such people are hard to ignore as they are often in powerful positions.

fmerton Dec-02-2010

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Well, on a lighter note, since we - non-feline folk - can't decide it, shan't we call in a real cat to tell us what's what? At least a cat would be able to tell where his mouse is buttered -- I beg your pardon, how his MICE are plural(ised)!

adelekefakoya Mar-05-2011

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Official ruling? Do we have a National Academy as they do for Spanish?

AnotherTry Jun-10-2011

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it's rather unfortunate that,Douglas is no more.anyway,if Douglas named the device after the living creature 'mouse',he never gave a plural form of the device and so it'll remain that way.the only mention name that i'll go by is 'mouse devices' as the plural of the computer mouse.i think it's a matter of preferance,be it mice,mouses,meeses or mooses because not any one of them is said to be wrong.

andani Dec-08-2011

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I have my doubts on what PimpleMaze said, in my country we speak spanish, and we dont say, " Quiero comprar un ratón". We say, "Quiero comprar un Mouse" (Quiero comprar un... = I want to buy a... in spanish) but i don't know, the creators didn't made a plural form for it, so we can be creative with it I think. Give me three of those mouse things.

PUOST01 Oct-08-2012

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I had this question in a computer test about 20 years ago. M.O.U.S.E actually stands for "M.ovement O.riented U.ser S.ignal E.quipment and because the original non wireless device looks like a mouse with a tail. I think it was born in Xerox labs in Palo Alto way before Microsoft Windows.

BiBostin Dec-20-2012

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Hi, Brus. Back from your travels already? I could always try doing a Captain Mainwaring and say "I was wondering which of one you would be the first to spot my deliberate mistake", but I don't suppose you'd swallow that one. Let's just call it a schadenfreudian slip. My slip, your schadenfreude.

Warsaw Will Jan-22-2013

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Actually not back from travels as I am in northern Laos in a beautiful place called Vang Vieng where one chills and floats on the river and frets about nothing at all except erroneous English. No Schadenfreude here because everyone is nice and would not think of such a thing. I recommend a trip here to any stressed persons.

Brus Jan-23-2013

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The majority of electronic companies all refer to the "device in question" as mice. Check online at all the manufacturers such Apple, Dell, and HP.

IT TECH GOD May-16-2013

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I have been proofreading this case study (a management school's) and it is about a big player in the computer peripherals. They refer to "mice" throughout the article... Well it may the author and publisher's preference really but "mice" definitely sounds very awkward... and i realize there is no final word on this yet....

Ashni Sep-13-2013

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary- Tenth edition: (pl. also mouses) Computing a small hand-held device which is dragged across a flat surface to move the cursor on a computer screen, having buttons which are pressed to control computer functions.

Geme Tom Feb-10-2014

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Pointing devices? :-))

user106928 Apr-14-2014

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@Brus - interesting point. Like you I'm a 'mice man' (in both your senses), but when I read the comments above, I naturally thought of mouses with a soft S, and now you've got me wondering why.

At Morewords.com most words listed under *ouse are variations on house. There's spouse where you seem to have a choice between hard and soft s in the singular. The only other nouns I can find with a soft s are:

grouse - bird - plural - grouse, complaint - plural - grouses (soft s?)
house - houses (hard s)
lobscouse (whence scouse) - plural (hard or soft? - I've no idea but imagine soft)
louse - plural lice

But now I'm wondering of it's houses that's the exception (out of a total of only three, admittedly - so it hardly makes it a rule).

Warsaw Will May-16-2014

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The plural of house (OE hus) in OE was hus. The plural was shown by the article. Once this shifted, it pickt up a regular 's' plural.

Grouse is not found in OE. It's a borrow'd word and thus gets an 's'. The same for lobscouse.

AnWulf May-20-2014

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The handle of a tailor's smoothing iron is a goose. The word geese is NOT acceptable as the plural. In this case the plural of goose is GOOSES. So, I vote for mouses !

Jan Michael Sauer Oct-01-2016

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First it was called a mouse because it looked like a mouse, then 'they' thought up a suitable acronym. Of course the plural, should it ever be needed, is "mice", for 'mouses' sounds plain silly. The same applies to goose-geese, and your man who says it is "not acceptable" seems, as it were, to be shooting from the hip: being authoritarian but quoting no authority and using terminology which has a whiff of political correctness about it in its dogmatism. Humourless, too. 'Gooses' is a verb, and renders uncomfortable its use in the context suggested. So I say the plural form of the noun is 'geese' as always.

Brus Oct-01-2016

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mm in not sure but i tinck it iss mouses

nethen yung Oct-11-2016

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hello, i tinck it is mousses bt in not god at enlish

nethen yung Oct-11-2016

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I think it's "computer mouses" because of the word "mouse" of PC is a word relating to device have a form of mouse not to real mouse

antoine Oct-14-2016

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The computer 'mouse' resembles the rodent, so plural 'mice' does nicely. 'Mouses' is silly, as is being 'geesed' many times, just 'goosed' many times. What is plain wrong but we hear it increasingly is 'behaviours' meaning 'forms of behaviour', and similar inventions of neologisms by forming plurals from collective nouns which don't bear pluralising. Try 'thinkings' for 'thoughts' as in 'the thinking is, the thinkings are ...' - clearly pretentious silliness meant to sound clever but having the opposite effect on the listener, this one anyway. 'Behaviours' - no! no!

Brus Dec-17-2016

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I lean toward mouses for the plural. First, it grates on my nerves to refer to two or more computer mouses/mice as mice. All I can think of is real rodents. Second, a great deal of computer jargon has been invented, if you will, by computer geeks who weren't very good at English grammar or syntax--or meaning. However, the many goofy terms have become well-accepted. In keeping with that goofiness, I definitely prefer the goofiness of "mouses."

wolfwoman@ltis.net May-16-2017

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At work we use mouses seeing we have 3 just in a matter of 3 feet just for one person to use. When cleaning we will say, lift up the mouses.

christina1 Jun-10-2017

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We use the plural of the animal from which they were named. Mice is no less awkward than calling it a mouse in the first place.

SteeeveTheSteve Jul-21-2017

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Hey just a heads up, I am totally not trolling you. Looks like you have a typo on the word equipment in this article. and you also have an ad about proofreading. I'd hate for you to lose business because of the typo.

RoseHarmer Aug-14-2017

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In most countries computer 'mouse' is translated to the animal name such as 'mus' in my language. Based on this 'mice' is most correct. End of discussion. Heh.

Hurley1 Sep-26-2017

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The Oxford Dictionary of English 3rd Ed (2010) entry for mouse reads as follows: "2 (pl. mice or mouses) a small handheld device which is moved across a mat or flat surface to move the cursor on a computer screen". The world's most trusted dictionary of English accepts both mice and mouses as correct.

colin1 Dec-02-2017

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The Economist Style Guide says, with regard to plurals in general, "No rules here. The spelling ... may be decided by either practice or derivation."

colin1 Dec-02-2017

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Fowler's Modern English Usage 3rd Ed (2004) doesn't recognise "mouse" as an acronym but as a term within a new layer of words with new meanings, called "computerese". Fowler's adopts a wait and see approach.

colin1 Dec-02-2017

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Hello all,

I have just read through 12 years of comments lol. It has thoroughly entertained me.

I studied Computer Science at Uni and the lecturer advised the students that the correct term was "mouses". It could have been his own opinion though.

I wish you all the best and thank you for the lovely read.

Jelal Mar-12-2018

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Microsoft Style Guide is your friend.

mouse devices
OR
mice

robin1 Apr-20-2018

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I’ve compromised and used the term “meeces”.

user107709 Feb-25-2019

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Il problema nasce nel momento in cui devo comprarne due, uno per Francesco e uno per Rita, essendo ovvio che ogni pc ne ha uno!

user108400 Nov-11-2019

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I'm here because I've found such occurrence in my English book. The word "mouses" sounds horrible, even for a non native English speaker. I've been reading quite a lot of comments in here and I'm astonished there's no certain rule in English, as well as tech companies avoid the plural usage via "mouse devices".
In my point of view, I'd stand for "computer mice" in order to be grammatically correct, but hopefully it will be decided in the future so we can avoid seeing official English books using the word "mouses".

TheSoldier1941 Jan-16-2020

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I think mice is the way to go. Mouses just doesn't feel right.

user108896 May-18-2020

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I go with mouses.
My reasoning is that we say fishes to refer to different speicies of fish, and peoples of the world when discussing different cultures.
I say mouses because there are different types of computer mouses.

jualquer Jun-27-2020

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user108984 Jul-02-2020

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So if the plural of mouse is mice then the plural of rat is rice.
No wonder proper English borderlines snootiness. LoL

user109023 Jul-12-2020

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