Tim Hortons isn't Canada's most trusted #brand for nothing. The ubiquitous purveyor of Big Gulp-esque drinks filled with cream, sugar, and a bit of coffee—that's a "double double" to those in the know—knows how to speak its customers' language.
Since kids these days use emojis instead of text to chat, Tim Hortons is staying ahead of the viral #trend with a set of Canada-specific emojis called "EHmojis." The initial rollout, which starts on July 1st, will feature 12 predictably Canadian EHmojis including: a maple leaf, a deck chair, a speech bubble that literally says, "Eh?" and of course, a Tim Hortons cup.
The app will be available on iOS and Android devices, but the company appears to have no plans to release EHmojis for Blackberries—basically Canada's national phone—according to the CBC.
It's fun stuff, sure, but 12 stereotypical icons do not a useful chat medium make. Emojis succeed because of their amorphous syntax and constantly negotiated meanings. An eggplant is never really an eggplant. Unless, perhaps, it's paired with another vegetable. Then again, that yellow corn looks pretty phallic, too. The point is that emojis are what people make of them.
It's a good thing, then, that Tim Hortons plans on releasing more EHmojis, and will be taking suggestions from the public as to what they should be. In that spirit, then, let us humbly suggest some new EHmojis that Canadians will really be able to use.
A VERY SAD POLAR BEAR
Climate change is warming up the Arctic. The soil is thawing—potentially destroying valuable archaeological sites—and the ice is breaking up. Because of the latter, according to measurements taken of polar bear populations in the 1980s and last year, bears are actually shrinking in size; less ice means less opportunity to hunt for seals. Females used to weigh an average of 650 pounds, and now weigh 507 pounds on average. Use this EHmoji to talk about our furry pals' new summer bods.
A VERY SAD SCIENTIST
The Canadian government enforces an unofficial policy of controlling the public's access to scientists working for the federal government. If a journalist or member of the public writes to a scientist, the request is often forwarded to an official who determines what level of access should be granted, be it an interview or data. On numerous occasions, scientists have received what were effectively gag orders from the government. This practice has been dubbed "muzzling" in the press.
Use this fun EHmoji with the Very Sad Polar Bear for a very Canadian combo, eh!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯, BUT WITH STEPHEN HARPER
Because he doesn't really have a plan to address any of this.
To be completely honest, I can't think of a situation in which "A licky boom-boom down" is not an appropriate response.
Yes, there is already a snow flake emoji, but a single flake is clearly not adequate to communicate what winters are like here. And yes, It's incredibly annoying, verging on offensive, when the topic of snow (not the musician) goes from being a legitimate grievance to chalkboard-scratching small talk. But if there is one thing that every single one of us in this big 'ol country is guaranteed to think at least once during the year, it's "I fucking hate the snow."
Out for a relaxing loon watching session in the Muskokas? Well, this EHmoji should come in handy. Expressing your increasing sense of dread over the encroaching surveillance state now that the Harper government's incredibly broad anti-terror surveillance bill, C-51, is law? The binocular EHmoji will do the job there, too.
THE ENBRIDGE LOGO
Tim Hortons recently pulled ads for Enbridge, the company backing a proposed pipeline that will carry bitumen from the Albertan oil sands, from its in-store TVs after public outcry. Tim Hortons was accused of "shilling" for the company, and when they took the ad down, they were criticized by pro-oil politicians. Well, here's Tim Hortons' chance to get Canadians to really #engage with hot oil sands content on their phones.
A BLANK SMILEY FACE
Here's another standard emoji that takes on new meaning in a Canadian context. Canada's treatment of its indigenous First Nations peoples has historically been marked by violence and neglect. The government is just now publicly reckoning with the pain it sowed with residential schools—a program that a recent government report found to be a systematic method to "cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious and racial entities in Canada" through forced assimilation. The scores of missing and murdered aboriginal women still unaccounted for demonstrate that this legacy has not disappeared.
Prefer to not talk about any of it? This EHmoji is for you!
This will be Canada's eggplant, I'm sure of it.
UPDATE: Yes, there already is a blank smiley face emoji. We know. But this is about EHmojis. So before any internet teens out there send us angry emojis, we added a line acknowledging this. There.