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Why was this question put on hold as primarily opinion-based?

This question seems to feature a recent phenomenon that clearly falls under language, even English language and usage; it is interesting, clear, and important. It is also tagged correctly.

I wonder what is opinion-based about sorting emojis in a dictionary. This is not rhetorical; I wonder in earnest. In comments, one of the close-voters remarks:

I just don't think this is about English Language and Usage- OED’’s decision notwithstanding. And even if it was, you’d only get opinions on what the OED might do unless 1. There’s someone here that represents the OED or 2. The OED has some sort of published paradigm that we could quote- but then that would be GR.

I expect there to be a clear, definitive answer. It is another thing entirely that we do not know how to answer it. Anyway, I don't. Is that a reason for closing it? It is apparently anticipated by the close-voters that no one here knows the answer. Why? And, if this is general reference, what isn't?

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As Jim explained in his comment

@WayfaringStranger- that's great. I know how they're represented. I just don't think this is about English Language and Usage- OED’’s decision notwithstanding. And even if it was, you’d only get opinions on what the OED might do unless 1. There’s someone here that represents the OED or 2. The OED has some sort of published paradigm that we could quote- but then that would be GR. – Jim Nov 19 at 1:36

There is no accepted way to alphabetize things that are not part of the alphabet. The OED may or may not include emoji in their dictionary, but where they would be listed is, at this point, a matter of speculation. It is also somewhat arbitrary. Thus the question is asking for guesses, and that isn't what we do here.

  • The question was about sorting, not alphabetizing. – anemone Nov 23 '15 at 17:39
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    @anemone And dictionaries are sorted alphabetically. Someone could sort a dictionary differently. What does that have to do with English? It's strongly arguable that Emoji aren't, and can't be English, unless every single drawing/painting/artwork anywhere is also English. How do you sort the Mona Lisa into a dictionary? Ask 10 people and you'll get 11 answers. It's speculation, i.e. "Primarily Opinion Based". – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Nov 23 '15 at 18:09
  • Any question here can get speculative answers. But any question here is also asking for informed answers. And that emoji is already a word of the year. – anemone Nov 23 '15 at 18:16
  • The second half of the comment addresses the "informed" part: What information would be adequate to explain how the OED sorts non-alphabetic things into an alphabetic collation? It would be the OED itself, which is the canonical instance of "General Reference". – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Nov 23 '15 at 18:21
  • Regarding the OED's "word of the year" designation, keep in mind that lots of groups call things "X of the year" and that's really meant to be a sort of commentary on the year rather than some kind of authoritative declaration. Hitler was Man of the Year. The "Sexiest Man of the year" is a highly subjective declaration. The Word of the Year isn't a word. Etc. The definition of "word" is fraught, but emoji fail many of the accepted parameters. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Nov 23 '15 at 18:23
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Because there's a group of country matters (in the Shakespearean sense) with high reps around here who never post questions (as they already know everything) and whose mission in life is continuously to demonstrate to others that they have power over them. Editing questions, closing questions, putting questions on hold, it's all they do all day. They barge in unbidden like a veritable schoolmarm of yore, saying in a gravelly voice, "Now, now ..."

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You know: some people collect stamps, others like to sing in karaoke bars, still others favor reading classical literature; and then there are frustrated schoolmarms, or the publishing industry's editor corps rejects, or whatever these country matters are.

Now watch them rush in to downvote this.

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