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Pop around Town﹕Add oil, Asian languages!

【明報專訊】Recently, it has been widely reported that the phrase "add oil" has been made an official term in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It follows the phrase "dai pai dong," which was officially accepted by the OED in 2016. The Oxford University Press requires that a word or phrase must reach sufficient independent usage over a "reasonable amount of time" before it is considered for inclusion. Popular usage is also important, for the publisher also considers whether the word or phrase has reached a "level of general currency" easily understood by many people without explanation. Ernest Kao of SCMP reports that the OED cites a 2005 SCMP article on Macau as one of the earliest printed evidence of the general use of "add oil." ("Add oil," which is used to express encouragement or support, dates back to the 1960s as a cheer at the Macau Grand Prix.) Kao adds, "The process of adding words can be long and painstaking. '[It] depends on the accumulation of a large body of published (preferably printed) citations showing the word in actual use over a period of at least 10 years,' according to the publisher."

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