I run comedy shows, and at these comedy shows there is always an "open mike" section.
Frequently I get people saying to me, shouldn't it be "open mic", because "mic" should be the shortened version of "microphone".
My case is that "mic" is not a short form, it's an abbreviation, which is different. It's not really meant to be a word, it's only used in conditions where the display of the word does not accommodate all the letters.
With an abbreviation, it is sometimes conventional to place a period at the end to convey that this is just part of a word. Like one would use approx. for approximately.
Mike is the correct short form, the same way "bike" is short for bicycle.
Looking around on the net, there is a lot of discussion, mostly heated, and there are a lot of proponents for "mic".
However, I don't think this is a democratic issue.
I believe the only reason "mic" has bled into spoken English and is mistakenly thought to be more correct than "mike" is because electronic equipment is widely used and seen. The space above a microphone jack is limited, and thus it is shortened to "mic", not to follow any grammatical rules, but just for space.
There is no similarly common and parallel situation for "bicycle", which is why we never see "bic" in place of "bike".
In order to make my case that "mike" is the appropriate short form for "microphone", I feel that one can look to the conventions of English usage that support that.
I would like to know if there are formalized rules for the conversion of words like bicycle and microphone to bike and mike. Or nuclear to nuke would be another example.
Also, the difference between abbreviation and shortening of a word seem distinct to me, but I find that when explaining this issue they are too synonymous and people don't see a distinction. Is there a better way to convey the difference?
Please note I am firmly in the camp that thinks that "mic" is wrong, I am just looking for linguistic terminology and etymological roots to explain it. It would take a stunningly compelling argument to change my position.
... Or maybe I should just say to heck with it and call it "open stage"...