Re: Microsoft Manual of Style

Subject: Re: Microsoft Manual of Style
From: Chris Hamilton <chamilton -at- GR -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 16:18:26 -0500

Mary Shaw wrote:
> I wrote:
> >> >> "Avoid using the plural "mice"; if you
> >> >> need to refer to more than one mouse,
> >> >> use "mouse devices"."
> >> >>
> >> >> The word "mouse" is acceptable for the singular.
> >> >> Makes sense to me.
> Tracy Boyington replied:
> >> Why?
> People are used to calling it a mouse. Fine for singular.
> For plural, I think "mice" sounds dopey. "Mouses" sounds worse.
> "Mouse devices" makes for an elegant workaround, IMO.

Mary, please don't take offense, but...yuck. I agree that mice sounds
kind of dopey, but on the other hand, mouse devices seems kind of
inelegant to me. In what other instance would it seem appropriate to
pluralize something by putting _devices_ after the singular? I think the
key to this MS rule is in the sentence after what's quoted above: "Never
you _mice_ in a specific reference to the Microsoft Mouse." I would bend
over backwards to avoid having to use either mice or mouse devices.

(I'm zipping this off kind of quickly and didn't run it through the
unintended sarcasm and arrogance checker before sending it. If it seems
that way, that's not the intent.)

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Hamilton, Technical Writer
Greenbrier & Russel

Spock: "Random chance seems to have operated in our favor."
McCoy: "So in plain, non-Vulcan English, we got lucky."
-- The Doomsday Machine

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