Apple Will Add More Emoji Characters

May 21, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. diversity /dɪˈvɜr, daɪ-/ (n.) – the state of being varied or having many kinds
Example: There is a huge diversity of nationalities in New York.

2. minority /mɪˈnɔrɪ, -ˈnɒr, -maɪ-/ (n.) – a smaller group of people that is of different race, religion, or ethnicity from the majority of the population
ExampleThe LGBT is still considered a minority in some American states.

3. body /ˈbɒd (n.) – a group or an organization with a particular purpose
ExampleThe student body is promoting equality among all types of students.

4. update /ʌpˈdeɪt/ (v.) – to add more current and up to date information or features
ExampleThe company updated the website to add new user-friendly features.

5. compliment /ˈkɒməənt/ (n.) – a positive comment given to show admiration or appreciation
Example: He received a lot of compliments for his great job performance.


Read the text below.
Apple is currently working on expanding the diversity of emoji characters for the iPhone.

Apple decided on such expansion after receiving complaints from many users. The complaints are mostly about the current character set, which users say is not diverse enough and greatly lacks minority representation.

The current 800 characters include faces of what seems to be mostly Caucasians indicated by the hair or skin color. While two characters appear to be Asian, no characters represent black.

Apple is already working with the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit body that consists of major hardware and software companies. The Unicode Consortium controls the display of emoji on different devices.

Apple’s Katie Cotton agrees with the appeal and says that having a more diverse emoji character set is indeed needed. She also added that the company, together with the Unicode Consortium, is already working to update the Unicode standard. This standard is necessary to make all the emoji characters work on various devices.

Emoji originally started in Japan. The term literally means picture (e) and letter (moji). It was widely used online in the country but has recently started to gain popularity all over the world when Japanese electronic messages and web pages spread outside Japan.

The first icons showed specific characteristics of Japanese culture, like a bowing businessman, a white flower which denotes a compliment for a brilliant homework. It also included popular Japanese food like ramen noodles, Japanese curry, and sushi.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think having diversity in characters like emoji is important? 
·         If you could add an emoji character, what would you add? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How important is it to have minority representation? Kindly discuss your answer.
·         Does discrimination of minorities exist in your country? Why is that so?


May 21, 2014