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We Now Have an Elbow Bump Emoji. There's a Caveat

New entry into emoji world likely won't be made Unicode-official, last long after virus pandemic
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2020 1:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's a new world we've been thrust into in the Age of COVID-19, and that includes the salutations we're now using. Out are handshakes, hugs, and high-fives, while in are elbow bumps, such as the one a health-care exec used to greet President Trump at a news conference on the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Which leads Wired to ask the question: "Is it time for an elbow bump emoji?" As a matter of fact, there already is one, designed by artist Stephen Paul Wright, who's made it available for download for use in texts and emails; there's a GIF version, too. But it's not an official emoji approved by Unicode, which is the governing body of web text, meaning you won't find it on your phone's keyboard.

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And you probably won't anytime soon, Wired notes. That's because, per Emojipedia creator Jeremy Burge, there's a long process with a lot of red tape for Unicode to finally accept an emoji, and by that time, an emoji representing something happening in current events may not be so current anymore. Burge recalls the safety pin emoji, which was added after many people started wearing them around the time of the 2016 election to show they were allies of certain vulnerable groups. That trend soon faded, and the emoji isn't used very often now. Still, Wright isn't too bummed about the transience of his creation: He doesn't have a Unicode proposal in the works, and he says that, with social distancing now the norm, the elbow bump may already be irrelevant. "I don't know if the CDC would approve it," he says. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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