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For as long as the sandwich, hot dog, and America have existed, humanity has been plagued by one burning question. Can the the hot dog be considered a sandwich? Are they interchangeable? Or is the mere suggestion of sameness an All-American sin? Never has the conundrum been resolved.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
The debate is as much about etymology as it is principle. Last year, Merriam-Webster ignited a civil war by declaring the hot dog a sandwich.
This act of perceived aggression did not go unnoticed.
you've gone too far— Eric Morrissey (@ericmorrissey) May 27, 2016
this is terrorism— Calamity Joseph (@JoeRoobol) May 27, 2016
This tweet made me an @OED convert.— Kevin Morrell (@kmorrell27) May 27, 2016
you’re a monster. Don’t disrespect the hot dogs like that.— G (@_6abr1el) May 27, 2016
Year after year, the internet returns to this debate with the same divisiveness and obstinance that Americans tend to display with every seemingly small argument.
Yankees, if y'all think...— Blake Eddins (@_BlakeEddins) July 4, 2017
1. grilling a hot dog is "BBQing"
2. hot dogs are sandwiches
Do yall also consider this a BBQ Sandwich? pic.twitter.com/Ej5YjgOfTZ
Just like most highly politicized issues in Trump’s America, today’s most renowned hot dog authorities are dismissed for their expertise. Eric Mittenhal, whose Twitter bio lists his prestigious position as the Vice President of Public Affairs at the North American Meat Institute, confirmed that a hot dog is not, in fact, a sandwich.
Since 1994! And to confirm, no a hot dog is not a sandwich— Eric Mittenthal (@MeatVP) June 23, 2017
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Hotdog.org, the assumed authority on cylindrical processed meats, maintains that a hot dog is officially a separate entity from a sandwich. According to their manifesto,”limiting the hot dogs’ significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.'”
OH MY GOD THEY HAVE AN OFFICIAL POSITION.https://t.co/KnSuKQMWoY— Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) June 23, 2017
There might be more to this than a simple internet beef. In 2014, Guardian columnist Jeb Lund presented debate as a perfect example of American “exceptionalism.” Historically, both the sandwich and the sausage come from other places. Yet Americans have taken both, modified them slightly, and declared them our own.
Is all this strife really necessary? On Independence Day, of all occasions? Must this country tear itself apart once again?
The answer, from sea to shining sea, is always yes.
Lauren L'Amie is the SEO editor of the Daily Dot. Her work focuses on women and the internet, tech, and health. Previously, she has contributed to Tom's Guide and Texas Monthly. Currently, she is based in Brooklyn and becoming a keyword ninja.