Word Confusion: Curser versus Cursor

Posted May 19, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I can’t begin to count the number of times I have been a curser when I’m shoving my cursor around on my computer…

Curser is one of those infrequently used words that rarely appear in a story, so it’s quite disconcerting when I run across a curser in text. It immediately conjures up images of witch doctors shaking a bone rattle, perhaps stirring a cauldron of boiling…something…ick…

Now when I run across the word cursor, I’m expecting to see instructions on how to do something on my computer or something involving computers in a story, so you can imagine what a jerk it is on my imagination when someone tells me to use my curser to point to a link and click. Ahem.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Curser Cursor
Credit to: Free Dictionary; Merriam-Webster; Mighty Red Pen

Photo Credit: Content Providers(s): CDC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Image by Ort43v (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Part of Grammar:
Noun Noun
One who places a curse on another person or object A mark on a computer screen that shows the place where information is being entered or read

  • A movable item used to mark a position
  • A transparent slide with a line attached to a slide rule
  • A visual cue (as a flashing rectangle) on a video display that indicates position (as for data entry)
Examples:
The curser uttered imprecations under his breath while he waved his arms. Click to place the cursor in the field before starting to type.

Dang, where’s that cursor?

When a cursor changes to a hand image, it indicates a hyperlink.

Derivatives:
Adjective: uncursing
Noun: [Informal] cuss
Verb: [Informal] cuss, outcursed, outcursing
Verb, transitive: outcurse
History of the Word:
The word, curse, is Middle English, from the Old English curs. First Known Use: 1594

From the Latin currere meaning runner.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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