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)
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.

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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