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why?

Someone just sneezed and I politely said, "Bless you." which I recieved a "Thank you."


then, suddenly it felt horribly foreign to me. Why the hell did I just say that, besides it being ingrained into my head from childhood that it is a polite thing to do.

Is this suggesting that sneezing is a bad thing? Are we accusing the person who is sneezing of doing something wrong?

I remember hearing an aneqdote about how the phrase came into being. (mainly because people were overly supersticious a long time ago)
similar to this:
Some cultures have considered sneezing as a sign of good fortune whereas others have seen it as an omen of death. Indeed, the saying “God Bless You” is thought to have arisen during the Bubonic Plague of the 6th century, where sneezing was one of its early symptoms.


Well... then, isn't saying bless you, or gazoontite (not spelled rite), outdated then? Are we just mindlessly practicing the supersticions of the past?

If this is the case, why don't we still fear the Gods on top of Mount Olympus? -because we've been to the top and realized that there are no Gods there?

Well then, scientifically... lets look at sneezing.
A sneeze starts with irritation of the lining of the nose, and ends in an explosion of air from the nose and mouth. Nerve impulses travel from the nose to the brain, then back to other nerves that control the muscle of the abdomen, chest, diaphragm, neck, face and eyelids as well as the mucus glands and blood vessels of the nose. That’s why we usually end up closing our eyes when we sneeze, and why the nose often runs afterwards. In people with allergies, histamine irritates nerve endings (triggering sneeze and itch), makes bloods vessels in the nose swell and leak fluid (blocked nose) and drives mucus glands to work harder (runny nose). That is why antihistamines can help allergies. Nasal steroid sprays are also used for treatment of sneezing due to allergies, as they reduce inflammation.

Both of these segments I uesed were taken from http://www.allergy.org.au/month/sneezing.htm

I will probably continue to say bless you when people sneeze since its become a socially polite thing to do. But, why... Why not bleed our sickness out? Why not sacrafice virgins when there is an earthquake? To me, these things are pretty much the same mentality.

aaaaaaand I'm going to shut up now.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
tangerineskyz
Apr. 4th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)
i once blessed a person who coughed....i am so confused
It is settled then....

you are officially my hero.
good job then.
joe_black
Apr. 5th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
Re: i once blessed a person who coughed....i am so confused
:)

Just a snippet of what I think about ramdomly during my normal day.
aphrodite
Apr. 5th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC)
The story I heard was to do with the Black Plague! I love all your arguments, it is amazing that we still say "Bless you".

I thought about it a while ago and figured it was just an "acknowledgement" these days, like saying 'excuse me' or something
joe_black
Apr. 5th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
see, but 'excuse me' is more reasonable.

If I accidentally walk into someone I caused an inconvience to them. By saying 'excuse me', its admitting I'm in the wrong and I have violated your space without asking, or have knocked the contense of your coffee cup into your lap...

Where as 'bless you' has nothing to do with me. It all has to do with the person doing the sneezing.

to me the politeness is gone here. We are pointing someone out, who isn't trying to draw attention to themselves by sneezing. Its almost like we are saying "hey, you sneezed!" Not much of a difference, since the sneezing person most definately isn't going to die because of bad health or the black death.

ahhh... I could wonder forever and get nowhere.
vseekers
Apr. 6th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
That makes a whole lot of sense!
Why do people say excuse me after sneezing?

sorry, was just bored, and saw your journal.
joe_black
Apr. 6th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
its a common occurance that I am related to boredom, its okay.

;)
vseekers
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
Haha, I didn't relate it to boredom! I was randomly searching, and came accross you!
joe_black
Apr. 9th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC)
;)

That smiley is winkin'

Meaning ->I know

:P

This one is sticking his tounge out because I think it looks silly and I tend to use them when I feel silly.

I'm just glad people that randomly view my page feel sorry for me and stuff, but actually find something interesting.

or something. :P
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )