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Hot word

Updated: 2013-01-25 07:25
( China Daily)

Beijing Cough 北京咳 (Beijing ke)

The term was coined with words from the English language to describe a bout of persistent dry cough or throat tickle because of Beijing's poor air quality. It has become common thanks to the recent smog and haze that smothered Beijing and left an increasing number of Chinese and expatriates suffering intense bouts of coughing.

The symptoms are said to disappear once people leave Beijing.

Experts say dry coughing can be caused by smoking, overeating, bad weather and/or air pollution. The term is yet to enter a medial lexicon, and some people don't want it to because they say it is derogatory to Beijing and its residents.

But there is no denying that it owes its origin to Beijing's air pollution. Beijing's PM2.5 (suspended particulates in the atmosphere that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers) has hovered around record highs and are hazardous to human health.

The authorities, however, have taken sweeping measures to improve Beijing's air quality.

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