[thechat] american table manners -- fork in right or left..?

Luther, Ron ron.luther at hp.com
Wed Aug 25 08:04:57 CDT 2004

Ashok Hariharan forked around asking about 'merican table manners:

>>transfer the fork to your right hand...!" 

Hi Ashok!


Gee ... (I don't think I've been ever accused of good table manners 
before! My mother will be *so* proud!)


Yup ... I generally cut the steak with the knife in my right hand, then 
set the knife down and transfer the fork to my right hand to eat. Not 
sure why ... that just seems to be the way it's done wherever it is 
that I've been.

For _really_ good table manners ... sit straight and bring the fork 
up to your mouth ... [to separate yerself from them 'lower class' folks 
who keep their fork a few inches off their plate and bring their face 
down to it.] ... it's much more 'genteel' and 'hoity-toity'!

There is also something weird about keeping the tines of the fork 
pointing up rather than down ... something about not eating with your 
fork upside down ... I'm not sure exactly why that is ... and granted 
... it doesn't always seem to be very helpful when dealing with twirled 
spaghetti ... but hey ... there you go.

Now ... OTOH ... if you're eating steak while bowling ... (local Fall 
leagues are starting up tonight) ... then you pick up the knife with 
your right hand, stab the steak in the middle, pick the steak up with 
the knife, and eat it like an apple on a stick ... 'cuz you ain't allowed 
to put down the beer or the cigarette in your left hand ... no, no ... 
that just wouldn't be 'proper'!

Helpful Hints from RonL.

(Who notes that 'good manners' in Texas generally means using your 
_own_ car keys, instead of borrowing your buddy's, when cleaning your 

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