They're wonderful. They're obscure. They're often quite pointless.
Trump: ESPN's Ratings Due to Jemele Hill at the 'Mike'
Lookups for mike spiked on October 10, 2017 following a tweet by Donald Trump criticizing ESPN reporter Jemele Hill.
With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have "tanked," in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
The tweet sparked a debate as people contested his choice of mike where they expected to see mic.
Mic, not mike.— Jody Avirgan (@jodyavirgan) October 10, 2017
(and while we're at it - gif with a hard g)
Mike has been used as a shortened form of the word microphone since at least 1924, when broadcast radio was a new phenomenon. Our current earliest evidence of the alternate form mic dates to 1961. Both forms are now considered standard.
While Twitter users expressed great certainty about mic being the correct form, they'd likely not have batted an eye at mike a few short decades ago, when that form was decidedly more common. In recent years mic has seen a surge in use, and it's now significantly more popular than mike in common collocations like hot mic, open mic, and, yes, at the mic.
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!