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feature key
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hardware (Or "flower", "pretzel", "clover", "propeller",
"beanie" (from propeller beanie), splat, "command key") The
Macintosh key with the cloverleaf graphic on its keytop.
The feature key is the Mac's equivalent of an alt key (and
so labelled on some Mac II keyboards). The proliferation of
terms for this creature may illustrate one subtle peril of
iconic interfaces.
Many people have been mystified by the cloverleaf-like symbol
that appears on the feature key. Its oldest name is "cross of
St. Hannes", but it occurs in pre-Christian Viking art as a
decorative motif. Throughout Scandinavia today the road
agencies use it to mark sites of historical interest. AppleComputer picked up the symbol from an early Macintosh
developer who happened to be Swedish. Apple documentation
gives the translation "interesting feature"!
There is some dispute as to the proper (Swedish) name of this
symbol. It technically stands for the word "sev"ardhet"
(interesting feature) many of these are old churches. Some
Swedes report as an idiom for it the word "kyrka", cognate to
English "church" and Scots-dialect "kirk" but pronounced
/shir'k*/ in modern Swedish. Others say this is nonsense.