Is it disk or disc?

There is always the difficulty of recognising American English spellings and British English spellings with words like these.

Whether we like it or not, much of our language is now heavily influenced by American English spellings.


When referring to the IT world, we use ‘disk’, but if we actually mean ‘diskette’ (a floppy disk) and not ‘hard disk’, then we should try to use the word ‘diskette’, as this will tell the reader more precisely what we mean.

Generally, when referring to a circular-shaped thing, we use ‘disc’.

Hence, ‘computer disk’, but ‘compact disc’.

By the way, many people are unsure how to write ‘CD-ROM’ – it uses the hyphen, as shown. Many are also unaware that the acronym means ‘compact disc read-only memory’.

Did you know that DVD stands for ‘digital versatile disc’?