Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Discuss word origins and meanings.
Post Reply

Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by farahidial » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:09 pm

Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Dave326 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:19 pm

There's a good book that looks at exactly this. It's called If Houses Why Not Mouses? It talks about all kinds of English oddities, and shows there are explanations behind most things.
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Is this a private one-to-one exclusively involving farahidial (IP address 164.138.239.2 -- Basra, Iraq) and Dave326 (IP address 164.138.239.2), or are other people also permitted to join in?

One might almost be forgiven for thinking this clumsy pseudo-dialogue was generated by the author himself, whose bio in the above-cited book states that he "divides his time between Bulgaria and Iraq".

Forum Admin.
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:35 pm

Apparently, the book bans mouses - contrary to some computer-related articles. And if we use that unquestioned authority on English grammaticality, The Muppet Christmas Carol ...
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:27 am

And then of course, we could consult Goronsky & Weave.
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:35 am

Or Huddleston & Pullum.
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:46 pm

Do they have the same IP address?
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Garanhir » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:41 am

Hello everyone, long time.

I think we should defer to the literary authority of Sylvester and Tweetie Pie in this vexatious matter, viz.
'I hate them meeces to pieces'.

there y'go
Post actions:
Signature: "And what is the use of a book" thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
- Lewis Carroll

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:24 am

I tawt dat was anudder puddy cat. Mr Jinks?
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by hermanosborne » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:28 am

and why are you even bothered by that? Maybe it's because …it'just the way things are :)
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:50 am

@Hermanosborne

The fact that you consider it inconsequential doesn't mean it is not a legitimate question. The world does not revolve around what you do or don't find personally engaging.

Perhaps you should join a forum that caters to your own interests instead of complaining about the things being discussed on a forum that you have no interest in.
Post actions:

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Garanhir » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:00 am

Ah, indeed it was another cat - Tom, in fact, as in Tom and Jerry - I realised it the next day and felt suitably foolish. Perhaps though, both Tom and Sylvester took their grammar lessons from their mutual predecessor, Fritz, in which case their plural formations might be a little confused by a mixture of English and German roots. Heaven knows what the more modern Top Cat might make of it.

There y'go
Post actions:
Signature: "And what is the use of a book" thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
- Lewis Carroll

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:04 am

Sorry Garanhir, Edwin was right. Pixie and Dixie were the meeces that MR JINX hated to pieces.
Post actions:
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by John Barton » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:47 am

In dialects such as Norfolk, 'mice' rhyming with 'rice' is considered affected. It is pronounced ''meese" With 'meesen' I think an acceptable alternative. Just as 'chickens' is a redundancy greeted with hoots in some counties - one chick, two chicken. The northern 'hoose' pronunciation for house would I suppose be carried to Mickey Moose.
Post actions:
Signature: John Barton, New Plymouth, New Zealand
http://www.freewebs.com/caliban5/

Re: Why do we say mice but not hice, or houses but not mouses?

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:05 am

.. good heavens .. out from under the long white cloud sneaks John ..

WoZ over the ditch
Post actions:
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

End of topic.
Post Reply