Who Invented the Computer Device called a Mouse and When?

The mouse is a great piece of technology many of us use everyday, and was destined for cuteness, not boring drivel.

It was invented in the late 1960s by Douglas Engelbart, and was called the “XY Position Indicator for a Display System.” It was a catchy name, but early users quickly came up with a nickname of their own: “turtle.”

The animal motif continued with the more accurate description, “rodent,” that followed.

With its long hairless tail, the little pointer device resembled any number of creatures in the order Rodentia, and these early technogeeks didn’t want to discriminate.

However, good sense and a desire to sell to consumers took over, and the name was changed to “mouse,” which stuck permanently. In every dictionary on our shelves we found mouse, which reads like this Merriam-Webster Dictionary on-line entry:

“mouse: a small mobile manual device that controls movement of the cursor and selection of functions on a computer display.”

Now it’s your turn to come up with a name for touch pads.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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