Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mouse and Mice

This is a mouse.


This is a computer mouse. They kind of look similar, hence the name of the computer mouse.


Here are two of the little critters. More than one mouse, they are mice. Three mice, and the collective noun is plague.


But what have we here? Mice or mouses? I prefer mouses in this case.


I try to explain English to people who don't have English as their first language, but at times it is impossible. Things are just how they are with no reason.

Certain letter combinations are difficult for some non English speakers. Long has the English speaking world mocked Germans for their inability to pronounce th. Asian speakers struggle with it too. I was talking to a Cambodian friend about words and he asked me a question about werbs. You mean verbs, I replied. Yes, werbs, he said back. Had he misread the word, even though he knew exactly what the word meant, or maybe Cambodians can't pronounce the letter v.

Language is endlessly fascinating to me.

16 comments:

  1. Andrew each nation is different and its pronunciation. I prefer mouses,too. I am really afraid of mice

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    1. Gosia, you should be more worried about rats.

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  2. Me too. And English is a minefield for visitors (and locals).

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    1. EC, in 2095 there will a language revolution where the world speaks the same language. We won't see it of course.

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  3. If you thought English was difficult it is not as though it is thoroughly consistent but rather tough; isn't it?

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    1. Victor, I read your comment earlier and I wondered why Victor was expressing himself badly. At 12:40 am Sunday, I get it. Very clever.

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  4. My vote is for 'mouses'.

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    1. Ad Rad, and I hope your work colleagues always treat them kindly.

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  5. Russians transpose Ws and Vs, Argentinians B and Vs. A conversation between the two might go like this:
    Argentinian: Where is Bictor?
    Russian: He is in the winyard.
    Argentinian: Sorry, that is not bery clear.
    Russian: Vat does it matter?

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    1. Hels, Argentinians speak Spanish, don't they? No matter, that is really funny.

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  6. I hadn't thought about Germans not being able to pronounce 'th'; I do remember my parents always saying 'mit' instead of 'with' and just assumed 'mit' was the German word. Y and J are also transposed with 'yellow' becoming 'jellow' and 'jug' becoming 'yug' and so on. My dad never learned to say "biro" for the common ballpoint pens, he always said "borrow" and for years my sister and I called the pens "borrows", getting laughed at in school until we learned to say 'pen' instead.
    Giggling at Hels example :)

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    1. River, a brilliant first hand account. Oops, I forgot your parents were German but clearly I did not offend too much.

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  7. The English language must be a bit difficult at times for many. However we all seem to manage to understand each other, well most of us do.

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    1. Margaret, not if you were in our supermarket this morning. He was an Anglo looking lad, but we could just not quite catch what he was saying. We are more used to Indian born check up chappies who have better diction, albeit with an accent.

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  8. Are all these meeces yours Andrew? You need to call the pied piper!

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    1. Grace, of all the mouses I have known, I could probably put together a picture such as that with even more mouses. Touche at meeces.

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