Skip to main content
Publish date:

Censer vs. Censor vs. Sensor (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between censer, censor, and sensor with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

For this week's grammar rules post, let's look at a few more homophones: Censer, censor, and sensor. All three words can be used as nouns, but one of them is also commonly used as a verb. While they're pronounced the same, their meanings are nothing alike.

So let's look at the differences between censer, censor, and sensor and when to use each.

Censer vs. Censor vs. Sensor (Grammar Rules)

Censer vs. Censor vs. Sensor

Censer is a noun and refers to a vessel (usually swung on chains) used for burning incense, especially during religious rituals.

Censor can be used as a noun or verb. As a noun, censor refers to a person or group who supervises and/or examines conduct and morals. For instance, the group that decides ratings for movies and TV shows. As a verb, censor refers to the act of inspecting and suppressing or deleting anything that is considered forbidden or objectionable by the censoring party.

(Why You Shouldn't Censor Yourself While Writing.)

Sensor is only used as a noun, and it refers to a device that responds to physical stimulus and transmits a resulting impulse. For instance, there are sensors that respond to sound, and sensors that respond to movement.

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of censer, censor, and sensor:

Correct: The room filled with a pleasant scent as they walked the censer to the front of the room.
Incorrect: The room filled with a pleasant scent as they walked the censor to the front of the room.
Incorrect: The room filled with a pleasant scent as they walked the sensor to the front of the room.

Correct: The author did not understand why they would censor her book.
Incorrect: The author did not understand why they would censer her book.
Incorrect: The author did not understand why they would sensor her book.

Correct: Each time a person walks in front of the sensor, the animatronic turkey starts gobbling.
Incorrect: Each time a person walks in front of the censer, the animatronic turkey starts gobbling.
Incorrect: Each time a person walks in front of the censor, the animatronic turkey starts gobbling.

There is a trick to try for keeping these three homophones straight. The "cense" in incense is in the word censer, which is a vessel for burning it. The "sens" in sensory or sensation is in the word sensor, which uses sensory stimuli to operate. And that leaves us with censor, which can be used as a noun or verb.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

How To Find the Right Professional Editor for Your Writing

How To Find the Right Professional Editor for Your Writing

It's not enough to know when your manuscript is ready for a professional edit—it's knowing who is the right fit to do the editing. Here, Tiffany Yates Martin discusses how to find the right professional editor for your writing.

From Script

Understanding the Writer and Agent Relationship (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, read an intimate interview with Verve Literary Agent and Partner David Boxerbaum about the state of the spec market, the relationship between a writer and agent, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is ending your story too soon.

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes with Magic

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes With Magic

In this post, trained fighter and author Carla Hoch explores the process of writing fight scenes with magic—how to make the unbelievable believable, how limitations bring us closer to our characters, and more.

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

If you're a freelance writer who is able to secure assignments, an essential tool you'll need is an invoice. In this post, Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer shares a very basic and easy invoice template for freelance writers to get the job done (and get paid).

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

A career behind the curtain helped Amy Neswald in creating her own stories. Here, the author shares 3 things being a broadway wig master taught her about storytelling.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let things get a little out of control.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

After an intense writing challenge, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips from Managing Editor and fellow Wrimo Moriah Richard for capitalizing on your momentum.