Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 15:27:47 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" ccoolidg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MOOSE.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: Gesundheit!
I had asthma and chronic rhinitis myself as a child, so I heard Gesundheit!
from my mother and grandmother a lot. To me it doesn't make sense to say any-
thing else; after all, why not Health! rather than Bless You! I don't want
to be blessed by anyone without my permission, thank you. My grandmother was
half German, half Scottish; she grew up speaking German as a first language
until she was about five(consequently the only German she remembered in later
years was baby German, so she was ashamed to use it with native German spea-
kers), when her family moved to Berkeley, CA so her father could accept a
post in UCLA's Department of Biology; for those of you with accademic expe-
rience in biology, his name was Jacques Loeb. Though a noted biologist, he
is mostly noted for being wrong these days. I'd be curious to know how many
people in my phonetics class, for example, use Gesundheit! and how many use
something else, and whether that has to do with any German ancestry.