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Free Talk Live => The Polling Pit => Topic started by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 02, 2010, 07:10:05 AM

Title: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 02, 2010, 07:10:05 AM
I got in the habit of saying "gesundheit" during my militant atheist days, thinking that wishing someone "good health" was a fairly rational thing to do in that circumstance.  Do people still say that?  Does it come off as too Jewy or what?  Also, when people say "(God) bless you", does that come off as too pushy preachy religious?  :roll:


(Hey, not that it matters, but I'm contractually obligated to flood the Polling Pit with stupid polls every so often.)
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on February 02, 2010, 10:13:47 AM
The Mexicans have a funny saying I use.  They say Sancho to men and Sancha to women.
It's meant to imply the reason you are sneezing is b/c Sancho is with your woman, or Sancha is with your man.

When people tell me God bless you, I sometimes respond, "I don't need any god damn blessings, but thank you for caring." 

I guess it really depends on the person as to what I say.

I hear atheists sometimes say "bless you" out of habit.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: gibson042 on February 02, 2010, 02:23:43 PM
I got in the habit of saying "gesundheit" during my militant atheist days, thinking that wishing someone "good health" was a fairly rational thing to do in that circumstance.

I use Gesundheit for the same reason. And I say "farewell" and "so long" more than most, but finally gave up on finding a universal alternative to "bye" (etymologically descended from "God be with ye" (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=bye&searchmode=none)). Ultimately, a secular practice derived from a previously religious one is no less secular.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Robin on February 02, 2010, 02:56:48 PM
Everyone here says Gesundheit...
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: davann on February 02, 2010, 02:59:51 PM
I say "bless you". "Screw the government!" sounds good. Think I will switch.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Harry Tuttle on February 02, 2010, 03:04:34 PM
I say "Salud!" (health in Spanish). At least it doesn't seem superstitious. It actually seems relevant. Given the fact that I'm around Spanish-speakers all of the time it is more acceptable.

I think it is a silly tradition. When someone's allergies are going crazy I wish I could just leave them in peace, but I don't want to be labeled anti-social. Indeed, if I am sneezing, I prefer to be left alone and not have to return a "thank you". If I am friendly enough with certain people who feel as I do, we just agree not to bother each other.

Belches, farts, yawns, and hiccups are also involuntary outbursts. Why don't we "bless people for that". Well, okay, sometimes I do bless myself for a good belch.  8)
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: gibson042 on February 02, 2010, 03:10:00 PM
Everyone here says Gesundheit...

Natürlich, Frl.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: gibson042 on February 02, 2010, 03:11:11 PM
And YOU:
Belches, farts, yawns, and hiccups are also involuntary outbursts. Why don't we "bless people for that".

Please don't try to expand the domain of an already silly custom!
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: KDus on February 02, 2010, 04:52:39 PM
I don't have the power to bless any one, nor do I believe they can command a god to do so. If they DO have the power to bless others, why reserve it for something as trivial as a sneeze?
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: anarchir on February 02, 2010, 05:21:15 PM
Everyone around here says "bless you" but when I'm in the middle of sneezing ten times  in a row I just want to tell them "STFU I'm not done yet!"
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Rillion on February 02, 2010, 05:23:55 PM
I bless people.  Not in God's name, in my name.  If it has no effect, it's because they don't believe. 
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Harry Tuttle on February 03, 2010, 12:48:08 AM
I was really hoping the Sienfeld's idea would catch on. "You are sooooo good looking".
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on February 03, 2010, 12:53:22 AM
I say "kerbleshu" lol.  Or nothing at all.  I hate when people tell me "bless you" or something because then I have to interrupt my sneezing and say "thanks" and saying "thanks" seems kinda awkward to me.

Hell I sneezed a few times, who cares?
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: rookie on February 03, 2010, 03:50:01 AM
I don't have the power to bless any one, nor do I believe they can command a god to do so. If they DO have the power to bless others, why reserve it for something as trivial as a sneeze?


why are you such a prick!?




I decided today that it's fun to say  "bless you" when someone burps too.  I also recall once having said, "god-damn you" to sneezy friend who absent-mindedly thanked me afterward :P
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 03, 2010, 07:18:27 AM
Oh shoot, there was a similar thread about Atheists and Sneezes (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=12639.0).  My bad - I forgot that I participated in it, and I must have spelled "gesundheit" wrong when I searched and didn't notice.  I'm going to cover my accidental hypocrisy here (I always advocate trying to revive existing threads instead of starting new ones) by steering the conversation in an original direction...  How about...

What would people say when someone sneezes in a 100% enlightened government-free Utopia?

Maybe they'd just silently reach for their smartphone, use the camera face recognition to quickly open that person's reputation wiki page, and add something like "doesn't cover her mouth when sneezing in public".  That would make the food at Taco Bell just a little bit safer, I guess.  :lol:
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on March 02, 2010, 09:21:27 AM
My atheist friend doesn't say anyone when someone sneezes.

I say nothing either, because it's a sneeze, not the end of the world.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: davann on March 03, 2010, 12:05:55 PM
I got a new one that I plan on using. "Sternu Diem" or "Sternut Diem". I never took latin but I think that roughly translates to "Sneeze the day". A fun play on words across languages.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on March 03, 2010, 02:23:05 PM
I say cover your fucking nose.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Spideynw on April 05, 2010, 04:28:14 PM
"Begone demons!"
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: DogCow on April 07, 2010, 01:09:12 PM
What would you prefer I say "Hail Satan" or "give the germs to someone who is immunocompromised like a cancer or transplant patient"?  Those are nice happy thoughts.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: mikehz on May 22, 2010, 09:07:19 AM
I've thought about this, and realized that I don't say anything. Oh, maybe if they say something such as "Sorry," I might respond with "It must be allergies."
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: YixilTesiphon on May 26, 2010, 05:34:53 PM
Generally I say nothing. I was raised in a nonreligious household and saying "bless you" was never taught to me.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: The Muslim Agorist on May 26, 2010, 07:03:49 PM
Just a note... technically Muslims say "Alhamdullilah" when they sneeze. When someone else sneezes we say, "Yarhamukallah" (may God have mercy on you).
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: The Muslim Agorist on May 26, 2010, 07:10:36 PM
"Begone demons!"

I used to actually say "BACK SATAN!" If you get the timing and delivery just right you can get a person to laugh before they finish recovering from the sneeze. It can cause a weird grid lock in their nose.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: anarchir on May 26, 2010, 11:57:53 PM
I dont say anything, unless I think they're ill for real. I once saw someone sneeze and have the sneeze turn into a seizure. Personally I sneeze a lot due to allergies so I've always felt it awkward to say anything. If I'm sneezing 12 times in a row I dont need someone mentioning it every single time I take a breath to recover.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Bill Brasky on May 27, 2010, 12:07:52 AM
"Need a towel?"

Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Harry Tuttle on May 27, 2010, 12:25:55 AM
I dont say anything, unless I think they're ill for real. I once saw someone sneeze and have the sneeze turn into a seizure. Personally I sneeze a lot due to allergies so I've always felt it awkward to say anything. If I'm sneezing 12 times in a row I dont need someone mentioning it every single time I take a breath to recover.

Yeah, this bugs me too. Most people expect an acknowledgement of their blessing, and I'm in the middle of an allergy-induced sneezing fit.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: yamnuska on June 30, 2010, 05:17:20 AM
I say, "Ah Ha, now I have your soul, muhwahhahaha!"
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: mikehz on July 08, 2010, 10:16:48 PM
This whole "god bless you" thing is used by Christians to try and get atheists to acknowledge some sort of unconscious acceptance of a deity. On another podcast, I heard an atheist counter this with, "Look, just because you call the day Thursday doesn't mean you believe in the old Norse gods."
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: Harry Tuttle on July 09, 2010, 12:06:57 AM
This whole "god bless you" thing is used by Christians to try and get atheists to acknowledge some sort of unconscious acceptance of a deity. On another podcast, I heard an atheist counter this with, "Look, just because you call the day Thursday doesn't mean you believe in the old Norse gods."

Do you really think that? In certain company I will say "bless you" as not to be socially akward, but then I feel like I'm helping to perpetuate the myth.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: carolynjane4 on September 30, 2010, 02:03:57 PM
In some company, I'll say "bless you" out of habit.  For those who wondered, I have heard that the reason people started saying that is because your heart stops very quickly when you sneeze, so something about saving your soul from Satan in case it doesn't start up again?  Silly Christians...

At work (which is now where I usually am when someone around me sneezes - possibly because my workplace is full of allergens?), I often look to see where the person caught the sneeze.  If in the elbow, I smile and nod with approval.  If in a hand that they will then put on a keyboard that I will have to use later in the day, I sort of look at them funny, as if to suggest they should wash their hands.  Or if I'm feeling bold, I might suggest that they use their elbow next time.  If they don't even attempt to catch it, and just sneeze openly into the air, I will likely scowl at them.  Although they are usually not looking at me, so they don't know that I did.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: dalebert on October 01, 2010, 12:57:12 PM
I read that "bless you" comes from a belief that a sneeze is an attempt to expel demons.
Title: Re: What do you say when someone sneezes?
Post by: SeanD on January 15, 2011, 02:30:05 AM
"Cover your mouth asshole."