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Disk vs. Disc

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Can you replace “disk” with “disc” according to your own preferences, or are there some significant differences that you should consider before using each spelling correctly?

Let’s see what specialists in grammar, as well as notorious dictionaries, have to say about the common confusions and doubts regrading “disk” and “disc”.

Disk vs. Disc

Primary, yes, “disk” and “disc” can be considered synonyms. More exactly, “disk” is noted in dictionaries as the US spelling, while “disc” is mentioned as the UK spelling.

But besides these clear similarities, there are a few additional meanings each word has, which are different for “disk” and “disc”. Read the examples explained below to find out the perfect contexts to use “disk” and “disc” correctly, for impeccable communication in English.

When do we use “disk”?

As already discussed, the primary definition of the US form, “disk”, is identical with the one for the British “disc”. The noun defines a round and flat shape, an object in the shape of a circle.

Secondary, “disk” also defines the piece of equipment from a computer, which collects, records and stores electronic information.

Example 1: Introduce the disk into the CD player to listen to the new album of your favorite artist. – “disk” refers to a flat, round-shaped object.

Example 2: The hard disk of the computer is full; you need to free some space. – “disk” also refers to a piece of computer equipment that stores information.

When do we use “disc”?

You can use “disc” in the same situation as “disk”, referring to a flat object shaped in a circle, or, secondary, to a body part – a strong piece of cartilage situated between the back bones.

Example 1: Throw the disc to the dog – he loves playing with it. – “disc” is the UK spelling for “disk” and it refers to a flat, round object.

Example 2: The X-Rays will show the doctor whether it’s the disc that’s causing your back pain, or something else. – “disc” also refers to the cartilage between the bones of the back.

Conclusion

In general, yes, “disc” and “disk” are the same – “disc” is spelled in UK and “disk” is preferred in the US. But the couple of words also has some other secondary meanings which cannot be replaced or confused, so keeping them in mind is important to make sure your message is also got correctly.

Disk vs. Disc

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