Tuesday, August 28, 2012


This past year I worked at an orphanage in the DR.  Every Wednesday we did English Day, and put up expressions and sentences for the kids to learn.  One week we did Food & Drink.  We wrote down the expression to toast, “Cheers!” and its meaning in Spanish, “Salud!” which literally translates as health. 

A few days later everyone was at church and a friend sitting next to me sneezed loudly.  One boy, Wilson, who sitting right in front of us, turned around and whispered to her, “Cheers.” 

My friend and I both gave each other a puzzled look.  I thought it was a really strange thing to say.  A few minutes later, I realized why he said it and busted up laughing.  I told my friend and she started laughing as well.  In Spanish, when somebody sneezes they say, “Salud.”  Everyone started looking at us, even Wilson, which made us laugh even harder. 

Sneeze Fun Facts (And Nothing To Do w/ English)
  • Sneezes are speedy!  "Sneezes travel at about 100 miles per hour," says Patti Wood, author of Success Signals: Understanding Body Language. She adds that a single sneeze can send 100,000 germs into the air.
  • Did you know that the custom of saying "God bless you" after a sneeze was begun literally as a blessing. Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) ascended to the Papacy just in time for the start of the plague (his successor succumbed to it). Gregory (who also invented the ever-popular Gregorian chant) called for litanies, processions and unceasing prayer for God's help and intercession. When someone sneezed, they were immediately blessed ("God bless you!") in the hope that they would not subsequently develop the plague. All that prayer apparently worked, judging by how quickly the plague of 590 AD diminished.
This second bullet point was taken from an article appropriately titles, Why do we say, "God Bless You" after a sneeze?  I found it on the internet - it must be true! ;)

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