Faithful readers of this blog will recall a post last fall that discussed a style exercise in my editing course. Students work in small groups to make a few style rulings that we then use for the rest of the semester.
The decision that drew several comments was about the short form for “microphone.” Should it be “mic” or “mike”? The students last fall unanimously picked “mic.” Some were unaware that “mike” was even an option.
I decided to try this one again, and once again, all of the students in two sections of the course went with “mic.” The groups were more divided on “freshman” vs. “first-year student,” though they leaned toward the latter. “Athletic director” vs. “athletics director” drew an even split.
The reasons they gave for “mic” were similar to those offered by students before. It’s what you see on signs for “open mic night.” There’s no “k” in microphone. “Mic” is more contemporary.
Indeed, if these students are the ones who will soon settle style questions in newsrooms, the future seems to be on the side of “mic.”