Semantic left shift

Raymond Chen wrote a post a while back about how it’s not the System Tray, it’s the Taskbar Notification Area. But apparently, his efforts to pin down the terminology are a bit like herding Tasmanian devils.

For example, take this article. Note the domain name. And the byline

There are several other articles on MSDN that also use the “tray icon” terminology. In fact, in Longhorn, “tray” seems to be the official term (note the section heading “The Sidebar and the New Tray Area”).

Personally, I’m happy calling it the “tray”, for two reasons:

  1. Number of syllables in “taskbar notification area”: 10. Number of syllables in “system tray”: 3. That’s a right shift of about 2.
  2. Number of Google hits for “taskbar notification area”: about 1,910. Number of Google hits for “tray icon”: 147,000. That’s a left shift of a little over 6.

Both are good trends, but in the end, the number of Google hits is a heck of a tie-breaker. The left shifts have it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *