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Table Manners

(114 Posts)
RamblingRosie Sun 28-Oct-18 19:29:22

My parents always insisted on good table manners and were particular about how to hold a knife and fork correctly. I have noticed a growing trend of holding a fork with the prongs turned upwards and stabbing or scooping the food with the fork and holding the knife like a pencil. It looks messy and gives the impression that they are not enjoying eating the meal but attacking it . What are your thoughts?

Brunette10 Sun 28-Oct-18 19:33:53

I have noticed this for a while now particularly in younger people. It’s one of my pet hates I have to say. I can only guess their parents allowed them to do this and not teaching them the proper way to hold cutlery. Think it looks awful and gives a lazy impression.

Trixi Sun 28-Oct-18 19:39:51

Another thing I've noticed is chidren and young people stabbing a large item such as a sausage and eating like a looly pop!

Trixi Sun 28-Oct-18 19:40:16


Jane10 Sun 28-Oct-18 20:24:42

When I was young nobody I knew ever dreamt of draping their cutlery off the plates. Now I see quite a few resting the handles of their knives and forks on the table. This looks so messy and uncouth and also takes up space on the table. I don't know when this crept in or from where, America?

aggie Sun 28-Oct-18 20:30:06

My Mama must be whirling , she taught me how to handle cutlery , but I now am all American , I cut up my food , take my fork in my right hand , reverse it and use it like a spoon ! blush I find I don't drop food down my front as much ..... sorrreeee

gramma2three Sun 28-Oct-18 20:33:56

I agree. I am northern irish, living in Canada and married to a Canadian. My parents and my grandparents were so very strict about table manners and i agree, however, my husbands table manners drive me batty. The worst? if he has cereal or soup..he picks up the bowl and drinks the last bit! Now he doesn't do that if we are out for dinner or have company, so he doesn't see it to be a problem at home when we are alone. I hate it. But he is a fantastic husband so i have to choose my battles i guess.

PECS Sun 28-Oct-18 20:58:26

Is it only the British class system that makes us use cutlery in such an odd way? A fork has a useful curve in the tines useful for holding food but we seem to insist on using it upside down and balancing food on the convex side rather than the more logical concave side. Being raised in a mixed heritage home where, for some, bread, leaves and fingers were more commonly used to transfer food to your mouth I have never been too hung up on how people use cutlery and have got less so the older I get. Having said that at boarding school table manners were obsessive! I was well trained in the English way and was, apparently, invited to tea at the home of a judge, a colleague of my father, to model to his three daughters good manners!

I have spent many a working hour helping small children learn to use cutlery . It can be a tricky business for little tots!

Iam64 Sun 28-Oct-18 21:11:09

If folks are enjoying their food I don’t mind how they use their fork. I do have ‘issues’ with noisy eaters and slurplurs thougu

PECS Sun 28-Oct-18 21:42:14

My DGS1 is a noisy & messy eater! We have all gently tried to help him overcome it. He is poorly co-ordinated and clumsy and gets visibly upset by not being able to manipulate cutlery easily. poor chap! He is the kindest boy!

gillybob Sun 28-Oct-18 21:53:56

I can’t see a problem to be honest. My DGS is 8 and I still occasionally give him a spoon to help him with his peas. He loves them (just like me) but they often end up on the floor when he uses a knife and fork alone. Can’t see a problem to be honest . It’s not like it hurts anyone.

Maggiemaybe Sun 28-Oct-18 22:09:16

No, I don’t care which way up a fork’s used or how a knife is held, though I was brought up to use them “correctly”. I can’t stand adults slurping or eating with their mouths open though.

M0nica Sun 28-Oct-18 23:33:44

When I was taught table manners food consisted of discrete individual pieces of food; eggs and bacon meat and two veg. It did not include pasta, spaghetti (except out of small tins with tomato soup, curry and rice and all the one pot dishes we eat nowadays, which really are not neat knife and fork meals as in the past.

A traditional English dish I will eat the traditional English way, but I use the fork in right hand prongs up - or a spoon to eat pasta, curry, couscous. It is horses or courses, so to speak.

I eat my peas with honey, I have done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny, but it keeps them on the knife

MissAdventure Sun 28-Oct-18 23:36:09

Logically I think table manners are simply a man made set of ridiculous rules, but... I do see a lot of things that make me cringe 'nowadays'.

janeainsworth Sun 28-Oct-18 23:49:37

What does it matter which way up the fork is used, provided that the user doesn’t chew with their mouth open, or eat noisily, or cover their clothes with ‘dinner medals’?

MawBroon Sun 28-Oct-18 23:51:11

. It is horses for courses, so to speak
Hors d’oeuvres? .

PECS Mon 29-Oct-18 06:50:00

The best table manner rule is "don't be greedy & don't out others off their meal"

PECS Mon 29-Oct-18 06:51:26

Put..not out!!

annep Mon 29-Oct-18 10:33:12

I don't care. I only dislike if people are noisy eaters or get food in their moustache.. yuk! ....or make a noise with cutlery hitting the plate!

Barmeyoldbat Mon 29-Oct-18 10:50:32

My pet hate is children eating with their mouth open. I say a ;boy of about 9 or 10 who turned out to be home educated and he had the most awful table manners, stabbing his food and eating and talking at the same time. awful.

GabriellaG Mon 29-Oct-18 10:56:28

I'm in total agreement with your comment.
There was a recent programme showing a collection of chefs at a formal dinner. Their table manners were, for the most part, appalling. Forks held, tines uppermost with elbows at 90 degrees, piling food into their mouths and leaving cutlery splayed at 20 past 8 when they finished. Plebs.

GabriellaG Mon 29-Oct-18 11:00:16

Discrete means individual/separate so no need to put both words. wink

stree Mon 29-Oct-18 11:10:06

Out for a meal with family, grandaughter aged 7 at the start of the meal noted her cutlery was not present.
Top of her voice, "Where`s my fork `n knife!"

Wilma65 Mon 29-Oct-18 11:24:29

Oh gosh I didn’t know there was a right and wrong way to use cutlery and I’m 67 ?

carolmary Mon 29-Oct-18 11:26:05

Gabriela G: it is rude to correct other people's grammar, (unless you are teaching an English Language course).