When is a disk a disc?

  spikeychris 19:41 02 Apr 2003

Big discussion at work. As above when does a disk become a disc?

I always write disk irrespective of CD or HDD.

One site on the net says >>

disk = magnetic computer disks (floppy disk, hard disk, diskette, disk drive)

disc = optical discs (video disc, compact disc, laser disc)

Others say its an Americanism, theres the diskette issue thrown in as well.

Opinions welcome.


M$ spell check recognises both but IeSpell only recognises "disk" what is fantastic is IeSpell doesn't recognise the word IeSpell :o)

  Pesala 19:59 02 Apr 2003

Did you have Special K for breakfast this morning?

  Patr100 20:07 02 Apr 2003

You could say that they are possibly an Americanism or a Disk can be written to while a Disc has fixed content or they are interchangable.....

  Mysticnas 20:20 02 Apr 2003

a "disc" is something flat and circular in shape.

and "disk" is something that came about after computers (as far as i know).

"disc" describes the shape/form of an object, disk AN object used for storage.

so... if it looks flat and circular (CD DVD) it's a "disc disk".

a 3.5" zip disk is a cuboid disk.

a hard drive is a collection of discs (disc tower).

hmm... does this help at all?

  spikeychris 20:30 02 Apr 2003

Pesala LOL

Patr100 yeah I'd say they are interchangeable.

Mysticnas, was with you until the "a hard drive is a collection of discs (disc tower)." A HDD isn't a collection of disc's/disks.


  graham 20:32 02 Apr 2003

Oxford Dictionary nods towards 'disk' being of US origin 'computer storage device', whilst disc is a gramophone record, as in 'Disc Jockey'. I think modern usage has evolved into the two distinctions as Disc = CD (Music) and Disk = Computer data storage device. Good question, Chris.

  BurrWalnut 20:34 02 Apr 2003

And a backup disk upsets people!

  spikeychris 20:43 02 Apr 2003

Alright then, my compact gramophone record isn't being recognised in device manager...
Windows says I have to change the stylus but is there a way around this ;o)


  Pesala 20:43 02 Apr 2003

Strictly speak I suppose disc comes from discus whilst disk comes from diskette, which is much more modern.

  graham 20:47 02 Apr 2003

Didn't have styluses (styli?) when we were young, we were too poor - had to use needles. :-)

  Rtus 20:48 02 Apr 2003

Wonder how many Gigabytes a modern Discus holds ????????????

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