What is the plural of computer mouse?

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Mega85
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What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby Mega85 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:31 am UTC

Is it mice or mouses? Also what is the plural of Walkman? Walkmans or Walkmen? Yeah, I know they are obsolete, but what is the correct plural? Also what is the plural of Bluetooth? Bluetooths or Blueteeth?

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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:35 am UTC

Meece.
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby Lazar » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:46 am UTC

Just a tip – you might want to make a "miscellaneous language questions" thread rather than making a new one for each question. As for "(computer) mouse", I think both are in use. There's a certain regularizing tendency that impels toward "mouses" (cf. "flied out" in baseball), but at the same time I think there's a certain urge to retain "mice" too. So… whichever one you like, I guess.

For Walkman and Bluetooth, I think there's a stronger consensus in favor of "Walkmans" and "Bluetooths". Walkman looks like a surname, and Bluetooth was actually named after a Danish king, so I think these would follow the conventions of personal names. We would refer to a family as "the Goodmans", not "the Goodmen".
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby Fieari » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:25 pm UTC

Mice, Walkmen, and Bluetooths, at least in my regional area. I don't know why both Mouse and Walkman got the irregular plurals kept, while Bluetooth did not, but that's how we say it. Go figure.
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby CharlieP » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:25 am UTC

I'm struggling to think in what context you would have "a Bluetooth". You can use Bluetooth as an adjective (Bluetooth devices) or an uncountable noun ("devices communicate via Bluetooth"), but not, as far as I can tell, as a single noun.
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:10 pm UTC

I wouldn't even call the first one an adjective, but rather part of a compound noun. "Bluetooth" is always, as far as I can think, always a noncount noun.

I suppose some people might use "bluetooths" for "bluetooth devices"?
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby CharlieP » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:02 am UTC

You've got me thinking now. To me, Bluetooth is like "magic" (no, not like that) - you can use Bluetooth to connect devices in the same way that you can use magic to do whatever you want, and you can buy Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headsets etc. in the same way that you can be given a magic wand, magic carpet etc. But you can't have "a Bluetooth" any more that you can have "a magic".

Or, is "Bluetooth headset" an implicit contraction of "Bluetooth-enabled headset"?
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:14 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Or, is "Bluetooth headset" an implicit contraction of "Bluetooth-enabled headset"?
Whether or not that's the origin of the term, it's not how people use it.

A Bluetooth headset is simply a headset that uses Bluetooth, just like a magic wand is a wand that uses magic.
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby CharlieP » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:43 am UTC

So is the "magic" in "magic wand" an adjective?
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby CharlieP » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:45 am UTC

Ah, on second thoughts I probably haven't picked a very good parallel.

"Would you like to buy this magic carpet?"

"What's so good about it?"

"It's magic!"

Would it be natural to swap magic for Bluetooth in the last line?
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby speising » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:40 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:Ah, on second thoughts I probably haven't picked a very good parallel.

"Would you like to buy this magic carpet?"

"What's so good about it?"

"It's magic!"

Would it be natural to swap magic for Bluetooth in the last line?


"Would you like to buy this Toyota car?"

"What's so good about it?"

"It's Toyota!"

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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby Zohar » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:11 pm UTC

Toyota is a brand name. Bluetooth is not.
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Re: What is the plural of computer mouse?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm UTC

Grammatically, though, it pretty much is.
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