Forwarded: consolidated answers to disKussion

Subject: Forwarded: consolidated answers to disKussion
From: Tammy Williams <Tammy_Williams -at- OCLC -dot- ORG>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 09:31:00 -0400

CEO comments:
From: Tammy Williams:CEO
Date: ## 04/26/94 09:28 ##
I'm replying to Robert Bononno's consolidation of the information he
received about disk vs. disc. My name is Tammy Williams. According
to his message, "I always use disk." I didn't say that. He must
have confused me with someone else.
What I said is that 5.25-inch, 3.5-inch and hard drives are all
used with the word "disk." CD ROM uses the word "disc."
Sorry about any confusion.

Previous comments:
From: (Robert Bononno) bononno -at- ACF2 -dot- NYU -dot- EDU:smtp
Date: ## 04/25/94 21:45 ##
See document for message.

CEO document contents:
Here are the responses to my original question (below) about
disk/disc. Thanks everyone for your participation.

By the way, I did a little snooping around and found the following:
The IBM computer dictionary (the big red book) states that "disc is
the preferred spelling of compact disc. (2) Variant spelling for

Web9 gives disc as a variant of disk but lists disc : VIDEODISC. The
word goes back to the late 17th c.

The Second Barnhardt Dictionary of New English has an entry under
"disk pack or disc pack" and refers to them as magnetic disks for
recording data. There is a quote "How many magnetic drums or
disc-packs are needed to hold 10^12 bits?" from Science 1971.

Robert Bononno

My original question:

>> I've noticed that there are two spelling for the word disk: disk
>> and disc. I read somewhere that you should only use the latter
>> (disc) when describing laser discs and CD-ROMS.
>> Does anyone know if this is correct usage and if so, why?

From: Ken d'Albenas <kendal -at- autotrol -dot- cuc -dot- ab -dot- ca>

I've seen a few discussions in the past. It seems common
usage is responsible for the difference. Computer discs
came to be spelled as both disc and disk, but disk won out.
Compact discs had a similarly dual identity at first, but the
people who designed the Compact Disc logo chose disc, and
that was that.

From: Andreas Ramos <andreas -at- netcom -dot- com>

This damned question comes up every few years. disks vs. disc. No
matter what the answer, it'll come up again in a few years. it's one
of those things.

From: Tammy_Williams -at- oclc -dot- org

Interesting question. I use disk always, no matter what, thinking it is a
matter of preference.
I'd like to know if my thinking is wrong. Thanks.

From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- Cayman -dot- COM>

This one's been around for a long time. So has the answer, "It depends...."

Apple's style guide suggests using "disk" for the storage medium in hard
drives and for floppy disks. They discourage the term "diskette." They
further suggest using "disc" when referring to an optical (CD-ROM) storage

The reality is that whatever your client wants, even if it's "discque," is
what the client should get. You can advise on current industry
terminology, but if it's an article of religious faith with them, it's not
worth fighting about. You will probably find some differences between U.S.
and European usages here. I noticed that some of your other postings were
about translations. The Apple guide is definitely U.S.-biased. Which way
are you translating, and for what platform? [If it's for UNIX, spell it
"djxq." :-)]

BTW, Steve Owens' posting about the New Hacker's Dictionary might be of use
to you here. Caveat emptor!

From: evollbach -at- cclink -dot- logicon -dot- com

By the way, in my experience, that answer depended on where I worked
and nothing more. Some companies have one style, some the other. I
didn't know there was one answer. I sure would be curious to know.

From: Tom Kohn <tkohn -at- scitexdpi -dot- com>

I prefer diskette for the so-called floppy. And I prefer disk for the hard
disk drive. I think I can add no more to the confusion.

From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- CRABAPPLE -dot- BITNET>

** Originally it was a coin-toss. I recall switching from "disk" to
"disc" when I switched from writing about Control Data hardware to
writing about Hewlett-Packard hardware. Or was it the other way

The invention of diskettes caused a big swing toward "disk" because
no one wants to write about "discettes".

But there's a graphical trademark for the standard laser disc
technology (used both in musical CDs and in CD-ROMs) and that
trademark features the "disc" spelling. Curiously, it's strongly
reminiscent of the trademark of the Kodak disc camera, which--
rather like the musical CD-- was based on the idea that the masses
would appreciate the reduced need for carefulness and only
the cranks would notice the reduction in quality.

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