Etiquette & superstition: sneezing

I wonder what it is about Spiderman t-shirts that makes kids sneeze. Feel free to post any theories in the comments section. In the meantime, some helpful hints:

ETIQUETTE: In the US, we don’t really have any provisions for behaving when someone nearby is having a sneezing fit. Do you say, “Bless you!” every time they sneeze, or just after the first sneeze? They might think you’re rude if you don’t keep blessing them, but on the other hand, you sort of sound like an idiot saying the same thing over and over again. The people of Turkey have given some thought to the issue, apparently, because they have figured out a very nice protocol. After the first sneeze, you say, “Long life!” to the sneezer, who responds with similar wishes to you. When they sneeze a second time, you say, “A thousand long lives!” Third sneeze, “Ten thousand long lives!” Fourth sneeze, “One hundred thousand long lives!” and so on. There are other acceptable Turkish variations on this as well; many thanks to Jim and Perihan Masters for their very informative article.

SUPERSTITION: The following predictions only count for sneezes that occur without precipitating factors such as a cold, allergies, or a rascally cartoon rabbit blowing pepper into your nose –

Sneeze on a Monday, sneeze for danger.
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger.
Sneeze on a Wednesday, get a letter.
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better.
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow.
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your true love tomorrow.

No clue what happens on Sunday. Try to avoid sneezing that day.

Photo by heydee on flickr

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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