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#30226 - 05/25/01 02:56 PM Disc versus Disk ??
jhenkin Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1
What is the difference between the words disc and disk? How is each properly used?

#30227 - 05/25/01 03:03 PM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
jhenkin asks: What is the difference between the words disc and disk? How is each properly used?

I have generally seen disc used for CDs and disk for floppies (AKA diskettes)

#30228 - 05/25/01 04:13 PM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
J.P. Esquire Offline

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 14
Loc: Connecticut
As far as I know, "disc" and "disk" are fungible in most instances (although I acknowledge that "disc" has become synonymous with "CD" and "disk" with "diskette"). I suspect that "disc" appeared on the scene first, since both "disc" and "disk" derive from the Latin "discus."

#30229 - 05/25/01 05:51 PM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
FWIW, from the usual source...
The earlier and better spelling is disk, but disc is now the more usual form in British English, except in sense 2g, where disk is commoner as a result of US influence.]
171520 Pope Iliad ii. 941 In empty air their sportive jav'lins throw, Or whirl the disk.
g. Computing. A rotatable disc used to store data in digitally coded form, e.g. in a magnetic coating or optically. Cf. compact disc s.v. compact ppl. a.1 II.1c, floppy disc s.v. floppy a. 2, hard disc s.v. hard a. 22c, optical disc s.v. optical a. 6.
See the note to the etymology for the spelling of disc in this sense.

#30230 - 05/25/01 06:04 PM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
Gatsby Offline

Registered: 10/16/00
Posts: 25
Loc: USA
From one stranger to another...although let it be known, I am the stranger.

Disk is the proper word.....disc more colloquial...or am I jockeying the subject.
it came into usage as some typo, I am sure.
In any case "disc" is "cute"...Oh Hell, I hate all 4 letter words.
Do I have to prove this?

#30231 - 05/25/01 09:00 PM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
J.P. Esquire Offline

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 14
Loc: Connecticut
You certainly don't have to prove it to me. I catch your drift. The only reason I deemed "disc" the earlier (and more proper) of the two was because of the etymological starting point: "discus." I went with a common sense interpretation, which, per usual, turned out to be the wrong one (being a student of the law, I should have known better). C'est la vie!

#30232 - 05/26/01 11:32 AM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Disc for anything to do with computers and modern stuff.

Disk for all else.

Oh, poo! Here comes "discus" as in ancient Olympics to throw me a curve.

Welcome aBOARD all you Strangers! Good to have new blood!

#30233 - 05/27/01 12:12 AM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Wow states Disc for anything to do with computers and modern stuff.

Disk for all else.

Funny, I never saw the word spelled "disk" until I became involved with computers. I (superhumanly) changed every single instance of "disk" I came across to "disc" until I realised I was outnumbered about 5 billion to 1, and flagged it away. I based the accepted spelling on my trusty COD and the Latin derivation.

I no longer give a damn!

The idiot also known as Capfka ...

#30234 - 05/27/01 09:51 AM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
My dictionary shows disc as a variation of disk, most particularly in reference to a phonograph record. I have also always seen and used disk except for disc jockey (also see "disco," "discotheque," and "discography"), until the dawn of modern tech terminology. But even, now, I see it used interchangeably on floppy packaging...even in the variation diskettes, which wouldn't seem to work as discettes. Also, in reference to UFO's I usually see Flying Disk or Metal Disk. And in reference to the spine -- disk, as in "slipped disk."
And the word, "disklike," is also listed as an adjective...which, in spoken language, could pose a problem for folks
who tend to drop the last consonant (the "k" of disk), and take on a totally different meaning! So, you see, it's not that I disklike disc, it's just that I usually use disk! (except when speaking of vinyl records) But the two have become almost interchangeable in my mind, because I had to reflect at length on each instance of usage
to recall the most predominant...which, alas, just serves to throw more kerosene into the fire, as it were, doesn't it?

#30235 - 05/29/01 03:17 AM Re: Disc versus Disk ??
NicholasW Offline

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
The usual English spelling of consonant + C/K sound is with a K: rank, rink, sunk; mark, lurk, work; rack, pick; mask, tusk, risk; etc etc.

So disk would be the natural way of writing it if it were an ordinary import into English.

-sc is used in only a few Latinate words: mollusc, fisc, and subfusc are the only other three I know; and of course in US it's mollusk.

I don't know why disk was changed to disc, or when, or what influence. Probably French influence, I suppose. However, at some point disc became established as the British spelling. (Meaning: any round thing; this is long before computers.)

Computing usages generally come from America, so the spellings program and disk are now established, and I (and I think British usage in the main) contrast television programmes with computer programs.

The Compact Disc was invented by the Dutch company Philips, so they used the British spelling, and as it's actually a proprietary term I think you'll find all compact discs are so marked and spelt.

It becomes rather confusing now that compact discs are used for computer storage, just as floppy disks and hard disks are.

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