Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

My discs have been Americanised!


p>For some reason, even though l10n and i18n have been fashionable terms in computing for the last few years, no-one seems able to localise properly into the lingua franca of computing, English. It may surprise some readers to learn that there’s more than one dialect of english, and some of these even have their own ISO codes (such as en_GB, en_US and so on…I’m ignoring the "ang" language for now). Some words in these different dialects are not spelled in the same way. I live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Land of hope and glory, mother of the free…) and therefore those round things are known as discs. Indeed, when I insert my Mac OS X installer disc, it is called “Mac OS X Install Disc 1”. Then I launch the Firmware Password application, which tells me: “The firmware password is used to prevent others from starting your computer with a different disk.” Gah!

posted by Graham Lee at 21:45  


  1. I always assumed “disc” was for round things and “disk” was for non-round things.

    Comment by Anonymous — 2008-03-16 @ 18:54

  2. Don’t get me started! ;-)
    What the hell is a sidewalk? is that when you walk like a crab along the pavement?
    And why is it that you can only get that special metal Aloominum in the states? doesn’t seem very fair to me ;-)

    Comment by Anonymous — 2008-03-19 @ 11:42

  3. I think that’s just a mistake. They are “discs” in the US as well, and Apple themselves have the explanation:

    Comment by Anonymous — 2008-03-29 @ 20:22

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