Alt /awlt/ 1. N. The Alt Shift Key On An IBM PC Or Clone Keyboard

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alt /awlt/

1. n. The alt shift key on an IBM PC or
clone keyboard; see bucky bits, sense 2 (though typical
PC usage does not simply set the 0200 bit). 2. n. The `option'
key on a Macintosh; use of this term usually reveals that the
speaker hacked PCs before coming to the Mac (see also feature key, which is sometimes

TECO, or under TOPS-10 -- always alt, as in "Type
alt alt to end a TECO command" or "alt-U onto the system" (for
"log onto the [ITS] system"). This usage probably arose because
alt is more convenient to say than `escape', especially when
followed by another alt or a character (or another alt and a
character, for that matter). 4. The alt hierarchy on Usenet,
the tree of newsgroups created by users without a formal vote and
approval procedure. There is a myth, not entirely implausible,
that alt is acronymic for "anarchists, lunatics, and
terrorists"; but in fact it is simply short for "alternative".