Emoticons are terrible. They're usually disingenuous, added to merely soften the blow of a passive aggressive message.
Perhaps the most egregious use of an emoticon goes to Austin's Burger Tex 2, which has the following painted on the back wall of the building: "This whole parking lot is Burger Tex 2's. If I do not find U (sic) in the restaurant your car will be gone," followed by a frowny face. You're not sad about that, Burger Tex 2! Are you bummed that people park in your lot? Is it meant to illustrate how sad someone else will be when you tow their car? It makes no sense.
If we don't have to spell out "fried shrimp" or "floppy disk," we shouldn't have spell out "taco."
Emojis on the other hand, well, they can tell an entire story. One tap of the finger and a user can convey love, hunger, credit card debt, VHS video rental and multiple variations of light speed rail. If emoticons are crass, then emojis are pure poetry.
When Unicode, the company behind emojis, announced on Tuesday that it would be releasing more than 250 new emojis, the Internet was overjoyed. Unicode plans on adding the all-important middle finger, a hot pepper, nachos and variations on skin color (the previous emojis have been mostly white).
But Unicode forgot the most important emoji of all: the taco. How is any self-respecting Austinite supposed to explain to the person they're texting that they want to eat tacos? Spell it out? No. If we don't have to spell out "fried shrimp" or "floppy disk," we shouldn't have spell out "taco."
Unfortunately, Austinites may be in the minority. As ABC points out, a petition to get a taco emoji that was started this spring failed to get the necessary signatures. Apparently no one bothered to tell us. In a city that served as the battleground for the Great Taco Cannon War of 2013, certainly we can generate enough signatures to ask for — no, demand — a taco emoji.
In the meantime, we should be glad that they added a tamale. At least now we can use the tamale and house emojis together to get our point across.