Magazine article Information Today

Is It Disc or Disk? and Other Pet Peeves

Magazine article Information Today

Is It Disc or Disk? and Other Pet Peeves

Article excerpt

The ever-increasing popularity of CD-ROMs brings an avalanche of CD related press releases to the editorial offices of Information Today. This information is, of course, most welcome as it allows me to keep up with the latest happenings in the world of optical publishing, and thus pass this information on to you. But, over the last few years I've noticed that there seems to be some confusion over the spelling of the word disc, or is it disk?

Not a big deal, you say. Well, OK maybe not, but indulge me for a little while (obviously I'm indulging myself). Many times I will receive an announcement of a new CD-ROM on the marketplace and it will read something like this: The ABC Company announces the latest release in its library of CD-ROMs (compact-disc, read only memory), on the alphabet. This new disk...Oh no, there it is again, that "k." And so it goes on press releases, feature stories, and product presentations -- the "c" and the "k" become interchangeable when describing a specific CD-ROM product.

Right now, all CD-ROMs look alike, a 4.72 inch wide shiny round "disc." So why not use a spelling that fits the description? A CD-ROM is a compact disc (spelled with a c), similar to an audio disc but with information stored on it that can vary according to format. It is an optically recorded medium as opposed to a disk with a "k" which is a magnetically recorded medium (as in "floppy disk"). So for the record, if you see the word disc in Information Today it refers to a CD-ROM. What About Online?

I guess I'm really getting picky now, but have you ever noticed how many ways the word online is presented in print? Is it online, or on line, or for that matter on-line? According to Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, it's on-line.

And what about database or is it data base? This time our Webster's Dictionary states that database and data base are both correct. So now what do we do? For the sake of consistency, if you see it within these pages it's online, database, and once again disc.

Irresponsible Reporting

One of the most important things our editorial staff strives for is always getting the facts straight. Information we receive is checked and checked again, rumor is reported as just that--rumor. …

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