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

David Wagner dave at worlddomination.net
Fri Aug 27 18:28:40 CDT 2004

> 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.

Damn! I hadn't ever realized it before, but I do it too. Apparently 
it's all due to cultural indoctrination, as I don't think this is the 
kind of thing that my parents would have rapped my knuckles for (being, 
y'know, former hippies).

This rule goes with other useful tidbits like:
- Never cut more than one piece of meat at a time (presumably to draw 
out the process even further).
- When setting down the knife, make sure the blade is facing toward 
you, not away from you, to avoid implying that you'd like to cut up 
your fellow diners.
- After finishing your meal, set the knife and fork, parallel to each 
other, across the center of the plate with the handles on the right 
side. DO NOT REPEAT DO NOT place them in an "x" pattern across the 
center, as this indicates that you are merely resting, and your 
host(ess) will probably die in place rather than taking your plate away 
before you're finished.

Thank you, Emily Post, for turning common courtesy into a complex and 
useless charade.


David Wagner
dave at worlddomination.net

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