Merriam-Webster Boldly Declares That a Hot Dog is a Sandwich
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and with it come all the seasonal staples: outdoor parties, ice cream, swimming, and hot dogs. You may have enjoyed a couple of dogs this past week, and the folks over at Merriam-Webster likely had that in mind when they rolled out this earth-shattering tweet:
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 27, 2016
That’s right, this steadfast purveyor of proper English has deemed the hot dog a sandwich. Their addition to this long-held and divisive debate has to do with the very definition of sandwich, as provided in the tweeted slideshow.
1) two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between
2) one slice of bread covered with food
The writers of the post insist there’s “no sensible way around” calling a hot dog a sandwich, and really go all-in when proclaiming, “If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich.” It doesn’t end there:
"You could hinge your anti-hot-dog-as-sandwich argument on whether the hot dog sausage qualifies as a 'filling,' but if you choose to interpret filling narrowly as only 'a food mixture used to fill pastry or sandwiches,' rather than broadly as 'something used to fill a cavity, container, or depression,' then you're not going to allow any single-item filling to qualify a food item as a sandwich—which means there can be no thing as a peanut butter sandwich or a bologna (or even baloney) sandwich."
Needless to say, the commenters erupted (it’s worth scrolling through a few if you have an opinion you’d like validated or simply want to engage in encased-meat-semantics as a spectator sport). For what it’s worth, we know the National Hot Dog And Sausage Council disagrees with Merriam-Webster, as do followers of both the The Today Show and Mashable:
Is a hot dog a sandwich? #OrangeRoom
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 30, 2016
It a hot dog a sandwich?
— Mashable (@mashable) November 6, 2015
Even Al Roker weighed in: "It is not a sandwich."
We're eagerly awaiting the Oxford English Dictionary's verdict.