Lower Grades for Saying “Bless You”

One professor at the College of Coastal Georgia has banned students from saying “bless you” in his class.

This is, no doubt, a sign of deep religious persecution for many. However, upon further reading, the professor’s rule goes like this:

“We are taught that it is polite to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. However, if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude!”

I can agree with that. I have always thought the whole “bless you” after a sneeze thing was a little weird anyway. I never respond when people say it to me. Occasionally I let out the snide “He already has.” Most don’t get it though.

“Bless you” after sneezing has more to do with superstitious voodoo than Christianity anyway, more than likely.


4 thoughts on “Lower Grades for Saying “Bless You””

  1. It does get tiring to be coerced into saying a litany of unknown origins simply to be polite. Politeness means to put others at ease, not ourselves.

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I believe I know where saying “bless you” after a sneeze came from and it is the kind of thing you just might find interesting. The custom started in the Middle Ages when people got the idea that if a person sneezed seven times in a row their soul would/might leave their body. I think the idea came from 2 Kings 4:32-35:

    32 When Elisha got to the house, he discovered the boy lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in, closed the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the boy: he put mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand. While he bent down over him, the boy’s flesh became warm. 35 Elisha got up, went into the house, and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

    I guess you could call it the reverse Elisha effect.


  3. Hello Again,

    I forgot to add that by saying “bless you” our superstitious friends hoped to break up the string of seven consecutive sneezes thereby saving your life.


  4. I’ve always found the “bless you” thing annoying for a simple reason. It draws attention to another person’s bodily excretions. I’m not particularly ashamed of sneezing, but I don’t like someone else bringing attention to my sneezing by saying “bless you.” It’s just a messed up custom.

Comments are closed.