Proper coughing ettiquette

At dinner Mrs. Gorewonfla started coughing, and I said, “God bless you.” She said that you’re not supposed to say that to someone who coughed. When I asked her what I should say she drew a blank. So what do you say?

I guess it depends on the situation. “Better now?” could be right. “Do you need a drink of water?” might be appropriate. “Can you breath or shall I initiate the kiss of life?” has possibilities. “Active the emergency rescue system!” is one I hope you will be able to avoid.

sorry, that’s “activate”.

I tend to agree with QtM. I usually don’t feel the need to say anything when someone coughs, unless it’s a particularly awful bout.

Gosh, what a wise person mhendo is!

Well, (s)he’s a newbie; give 'em time…


“God bless you” is perfectly acceptable.

Anyone with half of a heart will instantly see it as a kind gesture. What the hell is the difference between a sneeze and a cough anyway if you were simply expressing your concern for her well being? Tell her to shut her pasta primavera hole until she can come up with something better.

Ok, that’s a little rough. You can say something really stupid like “Sounds like we have a bit of a cold, do we?”

Forget me. I don’t have anything positive to offer right now.

The tradition of saying “God bless you” to sneezing people dates to the plague years.

There was a papal bull instructing folks who saw people sneezing to give them their blessings and back the f**k away.

I suppose that to be truly polite and show sympathy for their situation, you should cough right back at them.

Has anyone thought about looking to see what Emily Post would have to say about this?

What does a doctor say after someone coughs? “Turn your head the other way and cough again.”

I personally go with a friendly “Hell of a furball you got there” if it’s more than just a throat-clear.