The Non-Optional Option

Our beautiful and beloved Option key.

Though it was once called the ‘Closed Apple’ key, since the Macintosh it has been Option. It was given a secondary label of ‘Alt’ in the past but this wasn’t for the Mac. Here it was always Option.

Sometimes I hear it called by the vulgar name and I wince. Pain seems to radiate from my marrow. Such barbarism is unwarranted.

Other key misnomers bother me less. ‘Enter’ for the Return key or ‘Backspace’ for Delete. These don’t stick in my mind.

No, this key is different. Calling it by its true name – Option – is not optional.