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What is a mic?  RSS feed

 
Mark Spritzler
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The home page here says it is always open mic night at the Javaranch Saloon. But what is a mic? Is that the actual spelling of the short version of a microphone? Maybe it is, and it just looks weird to me. Kind of like saying "Tartlet" to yourself over and over again until it sounds really weird.
Mark
 
Michael Matola
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Yep. "Mic" is one possible short form of microphone. Can be a bit jarring first time you see it in print. (You can get people to argue endlessly about "mic" vs. "mike" -- which came first, which is "correct," which is used by people in various industries, etc.) The spelling of "mic" really starts to weird when you use it as verb.
 
Anonymous
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Some dictionaries list "Mic", but "Mike" is much better. As you noticed, "mic" looks funny written, and really doesn't work as a verb ("are we micing the harp"?

The reason "mike" is better is that it follows the form of all shortened forms
of words with long 'i' followed by hard 'c'. Mike, Jake, Coke, cuke, nuke, bike, trike--not Mic, Jac, Coc, cuc, nuc, bic, tric. On the other hand "mac and cheese" works because of the short vowel sound. I'm quarreling with my newspaper over this right now--they insist on calling my event an "Open Mic" which looks ridiculous to me.

Some people complain that "mike" sounds like a name, but so do jack, chuck, bob, don, etc. All good words.
 
Stephen Huey
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I agree that if you start conjugating mic and all that rot, it could get weird, but "Open Mic" looks a lot better to me than "Open Mike" (Why is Mike opening up, and do I even want to hear from him?).

For quite a few centuries, English has been pretty unpredictable, and despite all the reasons for standardizing more of the irregularities, most linguists would tell you that the language watchguards have always been fighting a losing battle since language naturally evolves rapidly (albeit a bit slower since John Gutenberg came on the scene).

So just get over it already. At least in Java you can count on certain consistencies, but living languages used for describing everything from the mechanics of protein folding and your expression of awe at the complexity involved to the multitudes of emotional reactions stemming from the US presidential election to what you feel like when your beloved surprises you with a gift need a language flexible enough to accomodate all of that, especially when pieces of it come from several different languages, all with different spelling systems!
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I just wanted to point out that it doesn't say anything about open-mic (or open-mike) night at the Saloon anywhere on JavaRanch, although it apparently did two and three-quarters years ago when this thread was opened!

For some odd reason, a couple of very old threads in this JavaRanch forum have been resurrected by responses from unregistered users. I'd just as soon we leave them alone -- this one especially, which is wildly off-topic here now.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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