The masses are demanding an answer, and by masses of course I mean my friend Jen and a bunch of people on the Internet who are drumming up support and spreading the word to convince someone, anyone, to create a hot dog emoji, among others.
While there are emojis for other popular foods like ice cream, pizza and sushi, there’s no hot dog, an omission one emoji fan has taken on as a personal quest. She and others are lobbying for hot dog emojis, she tells the Wall Street Journal, with a petition that so far has collected almost 300 signatures.
“When we want to write something cute on Twitter, it’s just not there,” she explained.
“People are demanding a hot-dog emoji,” adds the third-generation general manager of Superdawg Drive-In. “It’s a slight against the hot-dog community.”
Turns out it might be a bit of a process to create any new emoji, and it’ll likely have to go through one group first, a nonprofit called Unicode Consortium that handles most things emoji.
It was formed by computer programmers in the 1980s to get a handle on coding in languages around the globe, so nothing would be lost as messages zipped around the Internet.
Unicode’s co-founder says the group took over emojis after people couldn’t understand all the symbols in Japanese emails. He says it’s not going to be that easy to bring a hot dog emoji or any other new symbols into existence.
“People say, ’You really should encode X because it’d be good,’ ” he explained to the WSJ. “But we don’t try to make original, new symbols… We look at what occurred in historical or modern times to decide whether or not something should be added to the standard.”
“We’re talking about the Internet here,” he added of the periodic additions to the emoji library. “The number of possible images is infinite.”
But even Apple wants more emojis to become available, with a spokeswoman saying, “There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”
A spokesperson for my friend Jen (who is just herself) agrees. “It’s a tool of the people, for the people and it should be BY the people,” she said today during a hot dog emoji-induced rant. “The coders can’t hold us down! HOT DOG EMOJIS!!! HOT DOG EMOJIS!!!! Give the people what they want!”
Unicode’s emoji subcommittee has yet to see a proposal for hot dogs, but the co-founder seems to think it’s not likely. Too many variables involved, you see, depending on how you prefer your wiener.
“The problem with the hot-dog emoji is, what do you then want with the hot dog? Would we do one with ketchup or without?”
An important question for these times.
Hot-Dog Fan Campaigns for New Emoji [Wall Street Journal]
Follow MBQ on Twitter but don’t expect any hot dog emojis because did you just read the above post?: @marybethquirk