The Disk reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Disk

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A disk or disc is anything that resembles a flattened cylinder in shape. More specifically:

Table of contents
1 Disk or Disc?
2 See also
3 External link

Disk or Disc?

The divergence in spelling is due in part to the way in which the words originated. Disk came into the English language in the mid-17th century, and was modelled on words such as whisk; disc arose some time later, and was based on the original Latin root discus. In the 19th century, disc became the conventional spelling for audio recordings made on a flat plate, such as the analogue disc record; this usage gave rise to the modern term disc jockey. Early BBC technicians differentiated between disks (in-house transcription records) and discs (the colloquial term for commercial gramophone records, or what the BBC dubbed CGRs).

By the 20th century, the c-spelling was more popular in British English, while the k-spelling was preferred in American English. In the 1940s, when the American company IBM pioneered the first hard disk storage devices, the k-spelling was used. In 1979 the European company Philips, along with Sony, developed the compact disc medium; here, the c-spelling was chosen, possibly because of the predominating British spelling, or because the compact disc was seen as a successor to the analogue disc record.

Whatever their heritage, in computer jargon today it is common for the k-spelling to refer mainly to magnetic storage devices, while the c-spelling is customary for optical media such as the compact disc and similar technologies. Even in the computing field, however, the terms are used inconsistently; software documentation often uses the k-spelling exclusively.

Etymology: from Greek δίσκος, a flat round object athletes competed in throwing.  See discus throw.

See also

External link