The Unicode Consortium released yesterday the emojis which might earn a spot in our phones next year, and guess what, there is a mate among the candidates!
In case you didn’t know, the Unicode Consortium is an international organization which makes sure every community and aspect of life are represented via a smiley (yep, really), along with other coding stuff which we can’t explain to you so please don’t ask.
As I was saying, yesterday they released the 2019 “Emoji Draft,” and among the 59 finalists was one representing Argentina’s most popular herb-tastic beverage: yerba mate.
In an article published by La Nación, the creators of the emoji explained that they wanted a symbol which would represent the country, and they explored diverse ideas: empanadas, asado, choripán… Finally, in order to achieve something that wouldn’t be easily confused for another one (for example, an empanada emoji might look similar to the dumpling) or one which could include a broader audience (the mate being popular in other countries in Latin America, such as Chile and Uruguay, but also in places like Syria or Lebanon) they chose the herbal drink and the famous cured gourd in which it’s served. The proposed emoji also met other basic requirements, such as not offending any community or being relevant in the long term.
As the Unicode Consortium receives more than a thousand propositions a year, “We needed to show it would be used by the people,” declared one of its creators. If it passes the final round of approvals, the emoji should be released in April 2019, with the 58 other contestants. Between them, only one is an actual “smiley,” one that was missing – and which you didn’t know you wanted – a yawning face. While necessary, it’s also somehow annoying, as looking at it automatically makes you yawn. Actually, I’m pretty sure you want to yawn as you read this (sorry not sorry).
Users will also find a standing person, and a kneeling one too, available in both sexes and all different skin tones. This is increasingly important, as the emoji community strives for inclusion and diversity across the board. For example, this year’s draft also includes a mechanical arm and leg emojis (for veterans or those who have lost a limb), a hearing aid emoji (for elderly people and/or the deaf community), a sari, a Hindu temple, a guide dog, a probing cane, and two wheelchairs: one electrical and one mechanical.
Next year will also see the apparition of more animals, such as the flamingo, the sloth, and the highly popular… oyster? More food will also be emoji-ed (falafel, waffle, butter – yes, we needed it), along with the ice cube, which will definitely come in handy when describing how you want your next cocktail – on the rocks, please. Finally, the selection, available here, will also weirdly include the finest array of squares and circles, all in various colors, because it can’t hurt to learn to express yourself in literally every means possible.