Wired computer mice

In computing, a mouse is a pointing device that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface. Physically, a mouse consists of an object held under one of the user's hands, with one or more buttons.


The mouse sometimes features other elements, such as "wheels", which allow the user to perform various system-dependent operations, or extra buttons or features that can add more control or dimensional input. The mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows for fine control of a graphical user interface.


The earliest known publication of the term mouse as a computer pointing device is in Bill English's 1965 publication "Computer-Aided Display Control".


The online Oxford Dictionaries entry for mouse states the plural for the small rodent is mice, while the plural for the small computer connected device is either mice or mouses. However, in the use section of the entry it states that the more common plural is mice, and that the first recorded use of the term in the plural is mice as well (though it cites a 1984 use of mice when there were actually several earlier ones). The term mice was seen in print in "The Computer as a Communication Device", written by J. C. R. Licklider in 1968.


The fourth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language endorses both computer mice and computer mouses as correct plural forms for computer mouse. Some authors of technical documents may prefer either mouse devices or the more generic pointing devices. The plural mouses treats mouse as a "headless noun".

 

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