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What do you say when a stranger sneezes near you?

32 (15.4%)
God Bless You
22 (10.6%)
40 (19.2%)
Something else
24 (11.5%)
Bless You
90 (43.3%)

Total Members Voted: 208

Voting closed: November 03, 2011, 03:44:32 PM

Author Topic: Response to sneezing  (Read 10550 times)

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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2011, 01:51:43 PM »
Frankly, someone who would be offended by "bless you" or even "God bless you" needs to relax just a bit.  They'll be much happier if they take it as a simple expression of well-wishing rather than some overt forcing of religion.  It's more of a social ritual than anything truly religious.

Well, I work with someone that says "God Bless You."  if your sneeze, cough or clear your throat.  It gets annoying.

But that's the constant response that's the issue, not the content of the response.  I'm sure they'd be just as annoying if they said "Salud!" or "Whooppeee!" every time you sneezed, coughed or cleared your throat.

Thats true.


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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2011, 02:44:10 PM »
I generally say "Gesundheit" or "bless you." Unless it is a particular friend of mine who is a rabid, anti-religion atheist. For him, I always say "God bless you."

I'm like your friend, yet I say "bless you" out of habit. It's one of those phrases that has lost it's literal meaning for least in relation to sneezing. :D

Sometimes I say it to strangers, sometimes I don't. I don't expect any acknowledgement from one if I do say it. Often I don't even look at them.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman


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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #62 on: October 22, 2011, 03:04:14 PM »
I like my friend M's policy... He always says, "Get out of them!" in a menacing tone. I feel it is true to the history of the response to sneezing  ;D
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #63 on: October 22, 2011, 04:06:06 PM »
For people I know, I usually know whether they sneeze multiple times and I will wait to say Gesundheit until they are done sneezing.  If I've said it and they sneeze again, I usually just say 'And again.'

That's the same thing I do except I say ,'Bless you' because It's just automatic. 
If we have to worry about offending people's religious beliefs with an automatic response to a sneeze, we're in bad trouble. 


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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #64 on: October 24, 2011, 02:19:40 AM »
I say; "Bless you." if anyone or anything in earshot sneezes.  It's a habit.


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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #65 on: October 26, 2011, 03:51:04 AM »
One of the oddest adjustments for me when I moved to Japan was getting used to the lack of "bless you" when people sneezed. I really missed it! I think it's become much less a religious thing than a cultural nicety, and I personally have never known anyone who was offended by it. In fact, I'd often say "Bless you" when a Japanese colleague sneezed. They thought it was cute.

I'm in the middle of this right now.  Cold season is starting up , and I can never decide if I should say "bless you" when one of the students or one of the other teachers sneezes.  The teachers I work with don't speak English, and I don't think I'd be able to explain it very well in Japanese, so I've been trying not to say it.  I say it to my boyfriend though, and he thinks it's funny, so he says it when I sneeze too.


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Re: Response to sneezing
« Reply #66 on: October 26, 2011, 03:04:59 PM »
I say Gesundheit because it is easier to avoid conflict that way.  I used to say 'Bless you' as a child but when I was 10 a person on the bus I was on started ranting at my mother and I because I dared 'bring religion into it'. Of course, I have also been berated for not saying 'god bless you'  so you really can't win either way.