Disc or Disk?

Some drives are called discs and other drives are called disks.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

Disc or Disk?

Optical discs like CDs are spelled with a "c," and other kinds of computer storage media such as floppy disk drives and external hard drives are spelled with a "k."

Although there is some disagreement, Stedman's medical dictionary recommends the spelling "disc" for all medical uses. You can remember that "optical" has a "c" in it and the spelling "disc" for optical drives and biology (like your optic nerve) also are spelled with a "c."

  • I stored my data on a compact disc.

  • I have a slipped disc in my back.

  • Does anyone use floppy disks anymore?

  • The disk failed in my external hard drive.

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.