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Bob Romano
11-06-2004, 09:13 AM
Urban Legend or Saved by the Bell?


-Hundreds of years ago when there wasn't enough room in the graveyards, old graves would be dug up and reused, Sometimes they found scratch marks inside the coffins left by people who were buried alive and had tried to claw their way out. The reason for this is that before they knew lead was poisonous, beer and whiskey had been drunk out of lead cups. The combination of alcohol and lead sometimes made people unconscious for days. They were often misstated for dead and quickly buried. The fear of being buried alive led to the idea of tying a string to the deceased's wrist. The other end was pulled out of the coffin, through the ground, and attached to a bell. Someone then sat out all night-the graveyard shift-to listen for the bell. This is where the term "saved by the bell" comes from.

JoeyInCali
11-06-2004, 10:53 AM
That's gotta be a myth.
Saved by the bell came from boxing. It used to be that when the round ended, they stopped counting fighters who were down on the mat.
Nowadays, you cannot be saved by the bell at the end of the round.
Hell, you can't even be saved by the bell at the END OF THE FIGHT nowadays.
If a fighter is knocked down and the final bell is rung/gonged, the ref continues his count under the unified rules.

sjm
11-06-2004, 01:00 PM
Urban Legend or Saved by the Bell?


-Hundreds of years ago when there wasn't enough room in the graveyards, old graves would be dug up and reused, Sometimes they found scratch marks inside the coffins left by people who were buried alive and had tried to claw their way out. The reason for this is that before they knew lead was poisonous, beer and whiskey had been drunk out of lead cups. The combination of alcohol and lead sometimes made people unconscious for days. They were often misstated for dead and quickly buried. The fear of being buried alive led to the idea of tying a string to the deceased's wrist. The other end was pulled out of the coffin, through the ground, and attached to a bell. Someone then sat out all night-the graveyard shift-to listen for the bell. This is where the term "saved by the bell" comes from.

I suspect this is a myth. Ultimately, this is a question of medicine. I think it most unlikely that living people were mistakenly assumed dead even in medieval times. It is true that people were occasionally buried alive, as in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Premature Burial". Still, the suggestion that the medical profession was so underdeveloped back then that the mistake was frequent enough to merit a precaution such as string on the wrist has to be a myth.

sjm
11-06-2004, 09:07 PM
If I might be permitted a little speculation:

Yes, we all know the term "saved by the bell" in boxing, but I'd guess that the term originated before boxing used it. After all, for well over a thousand years, church bells have been in use, and two traditional purposes of church bells in old times were a) to notify the people that a fire had broken out, and b) to notify the people that their city was coming under attack. Certainly, this would provide two more possible origins of "saved by the bell", as the bell represented a warning that could serve to save the lives of those that heeded it. In addition, as a bell was sounded in ancient times to signal the beginning of an attack, it's quite possible that this explains why a bell was later used to signal the onset of a round of boxing.

I have no evidence of any kind that the term "saved by the bell" was used in ancient times, but it's a possibility worth considering.

jjinfla
11-07-2004, 07:18 AM
I remember as a kid being told where a Saint had been removed from the Saint list because they happened to dig up her grave to move it to a hallowed place and when they opened the coffin the remains were disturbed in such a manner that they assumed she had been buried alive.

But of course the nuns used to tell us lots of stories that later turned out to be just that - stories.

Maybe they didn't die because they wanted to be buried with their cue stick. And thus this becomes a pool related topic.

Jake