It's not mouses or mice, dammit!

Check the Microsoft ::shudder:: or Apple Style Guides. The plural is referred to as “mouse devices.” Case closed.

Sorry, but I’m a tech writer and I come across this kind of crap every day. Don’t get me started on realtime versus real time. One’s an adjective, and one’s a noun. (You can perform realtime editing … You can export your project in real time.) Even the idiots at Apple and Adobe (whom I’ve spoken to in countless conference calls) don’t get it. They avoid it by hyphenating it at every instance in their documentation. What a cop-out.

BTW, I hate Windoze XP. More on that to follow.

  • s.e.

And don’t get me started on how many people fail to use the correct term for “mouse animals”.

Is it just me, or is scott evil on an anti-technology jag this evening?:confused:

“I hate meeses to pieces!”

This is a bit of a sad rant. It might’ve been a bit more effective if it was about something that actually mattered to people.

Maybe so. I have to deal with tech crap five days a week. I take screen grabs for my manual only to hear that they’re changing the interface yet again and I’ll have to redo my screen grabs, because some fuck-up in marketing didn’t like the look of our “OK” and “Cancel” buttons. I mean, fuck off, no one reads the manuals anyway. If they were to actually open the pages, I hardly think that they would see any difference between a rectangular button and a rounded one.

I still wonder why I get paid a huge salary to produce fantastic user guides for people who don’t even bother reading them.

  • s.e.

Might I suggest the little mantra I find useful in such situations?

“It all Pays the same”
“It all Pays the same”
“It all Pays the…”

I always say “mice”. One mouse, two mice, just like the critters. I’ve never even heard to term “mouse devices”, and I worked for 6 years as a Sys Admin/geek.

I guess you learn something new everyday!


Such as how advertisers are the salt of the earth and people who skip commercials are evil thieves, I suppose?

I have no idea what you meant, matt_mcl, but style guides are style guides. We have to refer to them (cancelled vs. canceled) every day. I’ve produced my own style guide for my company, and I’m quite proud of it thank-you-very-much.

We rarely refer to mouse devices, but if we had to, in the plural, we would call them “mouse devices.” Sorry about your linguistic crap, but that’s the way it is in the real world, where people actually make money.

For the edification of mr. evil.

[small]Psst! Scott! I was supporting you against GuanoLad![/small]

And I thought this was going to be a politically correct rant about the proper term for tampons! Well goodnight then, because I cannot add/subtract anything from this conversation.

Now if it HAD been about tampons…

I just call them thingamajigs or whatchamacallits, like a red-blooded, God-fearing American should, hot-dammit!

But I thought the real term was “pointing device”. I thought “mouse” came later (albeit immediately later) because they looked like mice. Or mouses. Or mices. Or rodents. Or muridae. Whatever!

Nope…I’m sticking with “mouses.” “Mice” is straight out and “mouse devices.” Are you kidding? Does this mean in the singular I must now say “mouse device?”

This ranks right up there with people who get ruffled about use of the term’ Organic’ in connection with anything other than chemistry.

The prodigal son speaks yet again, but with bad coding.

No. You say mouse. It’s extremely rare to have to refer to mouse devices in the plural, so we’re all saved a lot of hassle.

I’m also pissed off at Apple who always hyphenate “realtime” or “real time.” Dammit, the first is an adjective, the second is a noun. Alas, all of my conference calls to Cupertino, CA, have done nothing to change that. (Actually, we were dealing with more important issues…) Whatever. Final Cut Pro 3 still sucks without a Matrox RTMac card. :mad:

  • s.e.

“Mouse devices” sounds to me like an affectation to avoid the whole situation of what to call the non-animal computer-variety plural of mouse. Heck, “fishes” is a legitimate word, so why not go ahead and just use “mice” for the plural of the critter and “mouses” for the plural of the comptuer accessory?

An advantage: If I walk into my Mom’s kitchen and ask her if she’s seen my mouses, she won’t freak out (Mom hates rodents).

First off, a mouse is no longer a computer accessory, but a computer necessity.

Second, the instances in which a tech writer would have to use the term “mouse devices” is rare, but the Apple and Microsoft ::shudder:: style guides have made it quite clear on how to refer to “mouse” in the plural. In any case, I’ve only had to document using a mouse a few times. (Eg.: "Right-click your mouse…) Most of the time, we just assume that the user knows what right-clicking is (unless the user is a Mac person).

Third, Hi, Opal!

Finally, just call it a mouse. Leave the debate over how to pluralize it to those who actually have to consider it. :slight_smile:

  • s.e.