On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 18:16:11 -0400, MCheu wrote:
DISC. For Compact Discs, and Digital Versatile/Video Discs, "disc" is
short for Discus, or flat round thingy (technical term). Check out
the discs that are marked with the official CD logo -- in small print,
it says "compact disc". The DVD logo doesn't spell it out in the same
way, as there's some dispute about what the V stands for.
For floppies, it's DISK because "disk" is short for "diskette".
That sounds all very logical and reasonable, but I suspect the real
reason may be that, because computers were mainly developed in the US,
American spelling became the norm. So we have disk, which is the
normal US spelling, rather than disc, which is the usual UK spelling
(in spite of what the dictionary may say). That's also why we have
program rather than programme.
However, the compact disc was developed by the Dutch company Philips,
and they tended to use UK rather than US spelling, hence "disc".
That's my theory, anyway!
As with all computer and slang terms, it probably doesn't matter. If
the terms are used interchangeably enough for long enough, the
mainstream dictionaries will accept them as such.
Sheffield, England, UK