We write on paper, but we write to a magnetic disk (or tape). Part of what the preposition contributes here is a sense of interiority; because we cannot see anything on its surface, the disk is linguistically refigured as a volumetric receptacle, a black box with a closed lid. —Matthew G. Kirshcenbaum —Write To (MGK)
Thus Spake Google (completely unscientifically):
- “write to” disk: 537,000
- “write on” disk: 49,100 (the top hits seem geekier than those for “write to”)
- “save to” disk212,000
- “save on” disk: 132,000
Just poking around a bit…
As Steven Johnson recently pointed out, Google’s results will skew in favor of the geeky.