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Question from Craig: My friend and I got into a minor argument about the way you’re supposed to refer to a USB flash drive.
I call it a “thumb drive” and he says that’s incorrect.
I told him “thumb drive” is what lots of people call them and he told me they are wrong to call them that.
So in your opinion, which one of us it right?
Rick’s answer: That’s an excellent question Craig, and I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this before.
Most companies refer to USB flash drives by that name in their sales pitches and technical documentation because that’s more or less the “official” name, but that doesn’t mean “thumb drive” isn’t correct as well.
Truth be told, USB flash drives have several names that are in common use. In fact, I’ve heard people refer to these handy gadgets by all of the names listed below at one time or another:
- USB flash drive
- thumb drive
- pen drive
- USB stick
- flash stick
- gig stick
- key disk
As you can see, you have several names to choose from, and they are all valid.
I personally refer to these handy devices as USB flash drives simply because that’s the term I’ve always used, but you’re free to use any name you want. And no, you won’t be “wrong” when you do so.
Bonus tip: As you probably know, Amazon has an amazing selection of “thumb drives” to choose from the next time you’re in the market for one. Click here to check them out.