A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thoughts While Waiting for the Clothes to Dry

When did "mic" become the dominant spelling for the short form of "microphone"? I see it everywhere in newspapers and online: e.g., "He grabbed the mic out of my hands" and "Tuesday is open mic night at the comedy club." When I was editing stuff, I used to change it to "mike," which seems to me a better spelling because it looks like words it rhymes with: "bike" and "hike" and ... well, "like." But "mic" seems to me like it should sound like a derogatory word for an Irishman. And other words spelled with a final -ic, like a ballpoint pen brand name and another racist word that unfortunately comes to mind, are pronounced as if they rhyme with "pick," not "pike."

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