What’s in a Word?

Do you ever lay in bed at night, trying to sleep, and suddenly, your mind decides to reach into its dark, hidden stash of almost-forgotten memories to slap you in the face with the most random shit?  I have to believe this happens to other people (it’s what keeps me sane, so don’t pop that balloon, for all our sake).

And by the way, what the hell is up with these nighttime reveries anyway??  It’s your one time to relax and not think. You’re laying there, feeling the hardships of the day seeping out of your overburdened consciousness, and you’re grateful for the quiet … glad to be away from the noise of it all.  Suddenly, your brain is like, NO! You will NOT sleep … you will instead fixate on that irritating commercial jingle you heard in third grade as it plays over and over in your head. Or how about that stupid thing you did at work five years ago? You know what I’m talking about. In the conference room in front of everyone too. That was fun, huh? Or, why does a round pizza come in a square box? Answer that one, smart guy.  Why is it that if someone yells “duck” they are helping you, but if they yell “chicken” they are mocking you? Have they ever even MET a chicken? Those things will tear you up. Tear. You. Up.  Or the old tried and true, are there birds who are afraid of heights? Poor birds.

So. Yeah.

Anyway, I bring all of this up to let you in on the crap question-of-the-night my brain decided to throw at me last night. Perhaps you’ll relate. Perhaps you’ll have an answer. Perhaps you will be kind enough to soothingly touch my arm (figuratively speaking, of course, since we are on the internet and as far as I know, we can’t actually reach out and touch someone … yet) and say, encouragingly, why, no, Wendy, you are not crazy. Not crazy at all. It will all be all right.

Is the plural of a computer mouse, mouse(s) or mice?  The crux of the problem, the answer to which I unwillingly contemplated for hours, is this: grammatically, saying computer mouses just isn’t right and the grammar-fanatic in me fights back against such misuse. But … saying computer mice … well, in a word, drives me flipping insane. It sounds neither right nor logical … just stupid.

Me at Best Buy: “Excuse me clearly overworked sales clerk, but do you have any computer mice?”  I feel as though such a request would be met with disdain if not outright confusion. Oh, of course they would know what I meant, but wonder in awe at my attempt at being “hip.” (On a side note, do we still say hip?)

It took me longer than it should have (4 hours 32 minutes) to figure out an answer to this late-night grammar puzzle. But solve it, I did. Aren’t you proud?

Simply put, I will never ever be in a situation where I have to use the plural of computer mouses  mice  mouses  mice  mouses … aaarrrgghhh!

10 thoughts on “What’s in a Word?

  1. I call it a “moose” or “mooses” if I’m talking in plurals. I don’t care what they think. I’m the one that’s spending the money, not the salesclerk. what do they care what I call it just as long as the cash register goes “ring, ring”???

  2. First off, as a computer technician, we call them computer mice. We look at people funny who say mouses or meeses.
    Secondly, I will now be thinking about that one chicken who hated me so much it stalked me through the window. Those bastards are fierce!

    • I hope to never put myself in a position where I need to know that! I will completely reword whatever it is I’m going to say to avoid it. LOL And you are so right about chickens! Fierce indeed. Although now I really kinda want to know the story of that chicken stalking you through a window. 😁

  3. How about this one at the car dealership… “How many Lexi do you have on your lot?” I have puzzled over that one, not that I’m in the market for a Lexus.

  4. “Why, no, Wendy, you are not crazy. Not crazy at all. It will all be all right.”

    This is why I use a trackball.
    And why the box of related computer parts is labeled “pointing devices.”

    As for chickens, as a young child my grandmother would send us out to catch one of the chickens for Sunday dinner when we were visiting the farm. I always thought it was because she wanted to eat the slowest and/or stupidest chicken, but I realize now that she was breeding baby velociraptors and trying to get rid of a few grandkids in the bargain.

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