Inconsistently labelled

In the back of my mind, I had always wondered why my friend’s Mac 128K lacked an Apple key, but many Macs until the latest iMacs had an Apple key on the keyboard.

The detailed story is here. Basically, when Apple released the Apple IIGS back in the mid 1980s, they had planned to have a common keyboard connector on both the IIGS and the Mac. In order to only need to make one keyboard, the Mac’s command key had the ‘open apple’ added to it.

Even when the Apple II was long gone, the Apple logo was included on the command key of other Macs, like the PowerBooks. I generally agree it is a good idea to take the Apple symbol off, since the Mac OS does not have any menus with an Apple command on them. So Apple’s new keyboards look like this:

I am curious, though, about non English speaking countries. Having a ‘command’ key makes sense in English, but why wouldn’t it have a different name in countries using other languages? Why doesn’t the key have the descriptive word ‘命令’ on it in China? The whole point of using a symbol (and not a word), since the symbol can have the same meaning in multiple countries. Speaking of which, Apple uses symbols for the Control and Option keys as well in menus, but those symbols do not appear on the keyboard. They keys have the English names only. It seems to me the Apple keyboard is still inconsistent in that regard…


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