Speed Reads

Silence is golden?

Georgia college professor bans students from saying 'bless you'

Leon Gardner, assistant professor of chemistry at the College of Coastal Georgia, lays out six behavior rules on his syllabus. Here's one: Gardner considers saying "bless you" while he's talking to be "very rude," Campus Reform reports. Doing so could cost his students anything from an automatic grade deduction to "disciplinary action from the college."

"We are taught that it is polite to say 'bless you' when someone sneezes," Gardner writes on his syllabus, under the heading, "Behavioral Deduction." "However," he goes on, "if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude."

Gardner believes "bless you" interruptions, together with "sharpening your pencil in the middle of class" and "being unprepared for class," is "especially rude and may result in an immediate 1% grade deduction for each occurrence."

Gardner is hardly alone in his anti-bless-you crusade. Last week, CBS Charlotte reported that "a high school student in Tennessee was allegedly suspended after breaking a class rule of saying 'bless you' after a classmate sneezed."