I originally posted this poem about 2 years ago, but I got into a conversation last night which brought me face to face with the fact that I have never yet solved this dilemma. The experience reminded me of the poem, so I thought I’d drag it out of the archives and back into the light today.
Is it mouses, or is it mice?
I’ve asked this question more than twice.
As I sit before my monitor,
I’m quite sure I am just not sure.
When two computers I must use,
All the appendages come in two’s.
I shuffle keyboards, arrange them nice,
But then I must hook up the … mice?
My only other choice is “mouses.”
My sensitive nature that arouses.
For an English teacher I’ll always be,
And “mouses” chafes and nettles me.
Surely “mice” should be allowed,
But then I start to laugh out loud.
Confound that name! How did it start?
Bill English and Doug Engelbart!
It’s all their fault; they must admit.
And foolish names are such a hit.
And dictionaries help not at all;
They make it an individual’s call.
So back again to where I was,
More frustrated now because
As I struggled to name the counterfeit,
Its namesake from my sandwich bit.