The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 December 2004

Just browsing

Since people are starting to post their browser distributions, sometimes to make a political point, sometimes to refute one, and since I don't have my SiteMeter results open to the public before you ask, it has something to do with the fact that I actually pay for the darn thing I'm posting my current market-share data here.

  • 74.1 percent: Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • 17.5 percent: Mozilla Firefox and related browsers
  •   3.9 percent: Safari
  •   3.3 percent: Netscape
  •   1.1 percent: Opera
  •   0.1 percent: WebTV

Possible skew factors: I browse with Firefox at home, but with IE 6 at work. SM seems to break out Netscape separately from other Gecko-based browsers, but Camino, for one, seems to be lumped in with the Mozillas (Mozillae?).

Posted at 1:02 PM to PEBKAC

For all the readers clamoring to know my thoughts on the proper way to pluralize "Mozilla," I accidentally left that comment on "the squeeze is on" post directly beneath this one.

Or, I could just cut to the chase and tell you it's "Mozillas."

Posted by: Sean Gleeson at 12:52 AM on 6 December 2004

But Sean, if it's of Japanese derivation, shouldn't the plural be (whatever the heck the plural is in Japanese)?

I'm pretty sure it doesn't end with an S...

Posted by: McGehee at 7:07 AM on 6 December 2004

Japanese nouns in general have neither number nor gender. Thus 'Mozilla' would be both the singular and the plural. In Japanese, I mean.

Most English words of Japanese origin follow this same rule. The plural of samurai is samurai, for instance. But I think Mozilla is far enough removed from its Japanese ancestry that its plural should be anglicized to 'Mozillas.'

Besides which, I thought I remembered reading somewhere (but can't find the source now) that the name "Godzilla," while invented by the Japanese moviemakers, was not really a Japanese word at all, but was coined to appeal to Americans, and can't even be pronounced in Japanese, which lacks a 'z' phoneme! If so, that would separate 'Mozilla' even further from the Japanese tongue.

Posted by: Sean Gleeson at 5:16 PM on 6 December 2004

Chewing on this some more: the Japanese word for Godzilla is Gojira. The monster's creators coined its name by combining gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). "Godzilla" was the anglicization of Gojira.

Therefore, the "-illa" ending of Godzilla (and hence of Mozilla) ultimately derives from "gorilla."

Ergo, the English plural of Mozilla should be formed in the same manner as the English plural for gorilla. We end up with "Mozillas," and I think that should close the book on this controversy.

Posted by: Sean Gleeson at 9:53 AM on 7 December 2004

As someone who once argued for an hour over the difference between "alien invaders" and "invading aliens," I am properly impressed.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:02 AM on 7 December 2004

As someone who was once told to run on down to Lives 'R' Us and get'cha one, I find in Sean in kindred spirit. ;-)

Posted by: McGehee at 11:03 AM on 7 December 2004

Ahhh, wakarimas da! Arrigato, sensei!

Posted by: Ian Hamet at 3:34 AM on 10 December 2004