The Grammarphobia Blog

Computer “mouses” or “mice”?

Q: My husband and I have been debating the correct plural of the computer mouse. “Mice” elicits a giggle and “mouses” elicits a cringe. Kindly help us out of this trap.

A: The newest editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary list both “mice” and “mouses” as acceptable plurals for the computer mouse.

But another source, Bryan A. Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage, prefers “mouses.” His reasoning is pretty sound: for the plural of “louse,” we use “lice” for more than one insect, but “louses” for more than one cad.

My preference is “mouses.”