Disclaimer this thread is rated M for "mature audiences" so to our younger TA members, you are forewarned.
Similar to the excellent post about Atheismisms, I would like to take the discussion to a similar but more specific topic, orgasms!
So, how many of us still say, like "bless you" when you sneeze, mainly out of habit, "oh god" or "oh my god" when you have an orgasm?
I have to confess sometimes I do. Does this is ever bother you? Do you catch yourself and think, does this give the believers ammo? When you are at your most excited and ecstatic place physically, you scream out to the the invisible man! What does this say?!? For those from other countries I would like to know what you all say?
historically, the 'bless you' after a sneeze comes from a superstitious belief that it would ward off the plague, which has sneezing as one of the early signs you were about to die... ring around the rosie is a direct reference to the physical change your body goes through when you had it so, as the end of the poem goes... ashes, ashes, we all fall down... sneezes and dies!
i am not superstitious so i don't say anything, didn't when i was a christian either.
in the throes of passion, wow is usually acceptable!
Saying "bless you" after a sneeze is just a linguistic evolution of other cultural sneeze response phrases which certainly existed pre-christianity. The origin of the actual phrase "bless you" as a sneeze response is fuzzy but it began popping up very early AD (long before the plague). In non English speaking cultures the sneeze response is usually a reference to health or long life like "gesundheit" in German or "salud" in Spanish.
Here is the snopes on the black plague/ring around the rosie connection. There seems to be no evidence for it.
Yes, I do it. No, it doesn't bother me. Maybe next time I'll shout out, "Sweet Zeus!"
I'm reminded of a scene from the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth. The bad guys (aliens from another galaxy) had been torturing one of the good guys (Daniel) and left him in his cell for a while. When the torturer returns and opens the cell door, Daniel looks up and says "Oh God..." (dreading more torture). The bad guy says "Your god cannot help you now." Daniel, being a linguist, corrects him almost automatically by saying "That's actually more a statement of general dissatisfaction...."
I'm reminded of that scene because, like Daniel, we're not actually invoking the name of some divine power when we say "Oh God!" (during orgasm or at any other time). During orgasm, it's more a statement of general satisfaction and even for believers it isn't meant to invoke the name of any deity.
A simple bit of linguistic minutia, that's all :)
"Your god cannot help you now."
That's exactly what a guy I went to university with usually replied when I said "Oh god"...not during sex :p
Admittedly I do, but it's not the Lord I am praising.
Heh, I'm not partial to changing it to "Oh shit!" personally. ;)
Bees, birds and Scientists do it