You know what I talking about. These two words are practically the same, sans a “c” in one spelling and a “k” on the other. Normally, you would think they are interchangeable, and everyday you use them as if they were.
But alas! You are mistaken, as am I and many, many other people.
Disc and disk are actually two different words with two very different definitions. And who better to clear this confusion up than *drumroll* Apple! *crash symbol* 😛
This small Knowledge Base article, dating back to 2009 (AFAIK from my brief research) and last updated on June 14, 2012, explains, in Apple’s own simplistic way, the difference between a “disk” and a “disc”. Here is an excerpt from the article:
A disc refers to optical media, such as an audio CD, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, or DVD-Video disc.
A disk refers to magnetic media, such as a floppy disk, the disk in your computer’s hard drive, an external hard drive.
Disks are usually sealed inside a metal or plastic casing (often, a disk and its enclosing mechanism are collectively known as a “hard drive”).
Yes, Apple did just say “floppy disk” (I wonder how many people reading this post know what that is, and how many are looking it up on Wikipedia right now. :P)
So, now that you know the difference, how can you remember which one is which? There are many ways, but this is how I remember: a disc is what games and programs ship on when sold in retail stores. A disk is what you store your files on, either by putting it in your PC or by plugging it into your PC via Firewire or USB or something like that.
What are ways that you remember the difference between the two words? Let me know in the comments!
And that has been your English lesson for today. Come back tomorrow to learn about proper usage of conjunctions. 😛