Spelling: Open Mike or Open Mic?

Apr 12, 2012 | Grammar and Usage, Uncategorized

MicrophoneAs proofreaders, we run into the “open mike” or “open mic” question pretty regularly. And there are some strong opinions out there:

Open Mike

Who is this Mike guy?

And what does he have to do with a microphone?

Open Mic

Is that like, “open sesame?”

How exactly does one pronounce “mic”? Rhymes with “tic”?

Some people hate “open mike” because, in theory, microphone would get shortened to “mic.”

And yet, most dictionaries maintain that “open mike” is the correct usage. Wonder why?

Submit to Review Board

 Some words in the English language that are shortened in unexpected ways:

  • Microphone, MikeOpen Mic
  • Bicycle, Bike
  • Cocaine, Coke
  • Nuclear, Nuke
  • Tricycle, Trike
  • Cucumber, Cuke
  • Jacob, Jake
  • Michael, Mike

This post does a great job of explaining how English got to be so nutty when it comes to shortening our words. Some people continue to prefer “open mic” over “open mike” as a matter of personal preference.

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Which do you like better? “Open mike” or “open mic”?