Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 12:57:14 +0100 From: Aaron Drews Subject: Sneeze On Wed, 22 Oct 1997, barbara wrote: } }And while I'm at it, doesn't saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes go back to }the Black Death and sneezing as a symptom of plague? Remember that lovely bit }of dialogue from _The Lady's Not for Burning_, said by the priest (abbot, friar }whoever) just as he exits, "God bless you in case you sneeze." "Thank you. I }may." Talk about preventive medicine! (Actually, this relationship just }dawned on me after I'd been talking to a class about the nursery rhyme "Ring }Around a-Rosy" and its imitation of the plague-stricken.) I thought it was because your spirit left you when you sneezed, leaving you vulnerable to the devil. Well, back around the Plague era, anyway. Aaron ===================================================================== ====== Aaron E. Drews Ph.D. Candidate +44 (0)131 650-3485 The University of Edinburgh fax: +44 (0)131 650-3962 Departments of Linguistics and English Language