Why is a mouse called a mouse?

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops

A mouse is a device that controls the movement of the cursor (or pointer) on a computer’s screen.  The mouse that is used with a desk top PC looks like a mouse.  It is shaped like a mouse and one can picture a tail when seeing the connecting wire.  The mouse buttons can be imagined to be the ears.  The fact that one must let it scurry along a flat surface even makes its movement resemble that of a mouse.

The mouse on a laptop looks different.  You either have a small pad (a mouse pad) on which you move your finger, or a small knob that you move around.  But because it serves the same purpose – moving the cursor around on the screen – it is still called a mouse, even though it does not look like a mouse any longer.

Some people feel more comfortable using a standard mouse and if you are one of them, you can obtain an external mouse and use it with your laptop.  Different types are available and the choice depends on your personal preference.

Cordless mouse devices are available – they are not physically connected but rely on infrared or radio waves to communicate with the computer.  This type of mouse eliminates a cord that gets in the way, but can be quite heavy on batteries.

What do you call a number of these devices: mouses or mice?  The purists say it must be mice, but others suggest that if you say: “There are thirty mice in the room,” some may think that you are talking about rodents.  It seems as if the debate will continue for some time – if you want to avoid an argument it may be the course of wisdom to avoid both mouses and mice and stick to the term ‘mouse devices’.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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4 Comments to Why is a mouse called a mouse?

Dave
Sunday, 31 January, 2010

Why is a mouse called a mouse and not a rat.
The mouse on a laptop is call a mouse pad. But Its real name is a Capacitance Activated Table or CAT for short So the mouse became the mouse not only because it looked like one but because it is the opposite to Cat

drashokshyam
Friday, 19 February, 2010

well Dave is technically correct, however it is not the mouse pad that is called CAT , but the original cursor that we see on the monitor was called CAT [not sure about the full form]. so logically enough a external device that is chased by the onscrees CAT was named Mouse.A slight glich thou coz its generally the Mouse that directs the CAT. but then I guess there might be some story to it too. :)

eva
Thursday, 10 February, 2011

but if the buttons are supposed to be the ears then the tail grows out of its head. sorry, it still doesnt make sense to me.

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