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Table manners

(149 Posts)
vampirequeen Fri 31-Jan-20 12:32:31

More specifically...using a knife and fork.

This is a real bugbear with me. I know it's minor in the grand scheme of things but it totally winds me up whenever I see it. When did we stop using the knife and fork to cut a bite size piece off a larger piece of food which could be put into the mouth at one go? Nowadays people seem to either cut all their food up then eat with only the fork or stab a large piece of food with the fork and bite piece off it. Worse still they may bypass the fork all together and simply pick up the food with their fingers.

Like I said before I know it's a minor thing but it drives me insane when I see it.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 31-Jan-20 12:38:24

Dare I say I think it's an import from America? Apparently we Brits stick out like a sore thumb when we eat with knives and forks over there as it's so 'different.'
I hate seeing people hold their knives and forks like a pen but I choose to overlook it for fear of being call a snob or hurting their feelings. I'd rather keep the peace.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 31-Jan-20 12:39:49

I am with you Vampirequeen I cannot abide bad table manners. Fortunately our AC feel the same and are rearing the GC with table manners appropriate for their ages.

I really dislike people that speak with their mouth full of food, what is so important that it cannot wait until they have "chewed and swallowed"?

BBbevan Fri 31-Jan-20 12:59:21

Many people now, even when using a knife and fork use them in the wrong hand. Knife in the left. My DGs have their own cutlery when they stay with us and use it properly. At home they will often use their fingers. I am at a loss to know why their parents don’t stop them as they were brought up with good table manners.

Calendargirl Fri 31-Jan-20 13:07:07

Our grandson, nearly 15, used to use cutlery properly, but since being at secondary school uses his fork like a shovel and more or less gobbles his food. He says it’s because they have to eat their lunch quickly because of the numbers of pupils. As for GD, 12, one of her best friends is American and she has taken to eating with just fork in right hand. When she catches my eye, she swaps hands and uses a knife also. I think she thinks it looks ‘cool’. To be fair, I too would have thought the same at her age.

Jane10 Fri 31-Jan-20 13:20:12

Once on holiday an American couple sitting opposite us at dinner nudged each other and pointed to us using both knife and fork to eat. They were the ones with bad manners!

rosenoir Fri 31-Jan-20 13:24:36

I ,being, left handed use cutlery "wrong handed".

Thankfully left handed children are no longer forced to write or use cutlery right handed.

eazybee Fri 31-Jan-20 14:10:15

It is an eye- opener watching Reception class when they start school meals.
Some find sitting at a table to eat a novelty, and many clearly haven't used cutlery, let alone used it properly.

Anniebach Fri 31-Jan-20 14:18:18

I am a left hander, my parents stopped the school making me
write with my right hand but my knife and fork were always set for right handers !

BBbevan Fri 31-Jan-20 14:24:07

Like Annie. I am left handed. I write with my left hand but use a fork in my left hand and a knife in my right,

BellsandWhistles Fri 31-Jan-20 14:25:36

Once on holiday an American couple sitting opposite us at dinner nudged each other and pointed to us using both knife and fork to eat. They were the ones with bad manners!

Neither of you had bad manners, just different cultural norms.

tanith Fri 31-Jan-20 14:44:35

Guilty, I tend to eat with my fork unless I need to cut something, I do eat a lot of pasta and rice meals no need for a knife. Sorry if that is bad manners but it suits me.

Gaunt47 Fri 31-Jan-20 14:51:37

I prefer eating with my fork too, but I did live in north America for a long time. When I first moved there I was laughed at for eating a hamburger with a knife and fork!
What I can't bear are the shovelers crouched over their plate and speaking with their mouth full.

vampirequeen Fri 31-Jan-20 15:05:08

I don't mean food that should be eaten with a fork and/or spoon. I mean food that needs cutting before it can be eaten.

DillytheGardener Fri 31-Jan-20 15:18:33

I was raised with fairly average table manners, but tried to impress better manners on my sons with varying degrees of success. My daughter in law who went to finishing school has very dainty table manners. I asked her about this, she said there were so many rules that she hated learning but it’s second nature to her now. Some of the rules she mentioned such as not reaching in front of someone for something across the table without saying excuse me, and that nothing further than a person’s wrist should rest on the table sound rather much on paper, but IMO I wish I’d had deportment lessons as it does look so ladylike and elegant.
I’m happy if I haven’t spilled half my tea down my front hmm

DillytheGardener Fri 31-Jan-20 15:26:14

A poster further up said knives should be held in the left hand? Is that true? Why are restaurants set up fork right knife left? confused

welbeck Fri 31-Jan-20 15:34:19

i think there's a lot of snobbish nonsense about how people use cutlery.
the English esp lower middle classes use it as a marker of caste, they can look down on and feel superior to those who do not follow, or care to, their own customs.
they convert a mere custom or habit into moral rectitude.
I find it rather amusing, ridiculous, sometimes insulting.
the only thing that matters is consideration for others, keep mouth closed when chewing, being hygienic, no double dipping, and being generous to see that others eat, and are relaxed enough to be able to want to eat in company.
if a person can eat, and there is food to eat, that is cause for celebration. nothing else matters.

SalsaQueen Fri 31-Jan-20 15:51:45

I hate it too. My own Grandchildren (8 and 5) don't know how to use cutlery properly (they live with their mother, my son has them every other weekend), but we say nothing.

Jane10 Fri 31-Jan-20 15:58:03

BellsandWhistles- you've missed the point. Nudging each other and talking about people sitting in front of you is b****y rude!

vampirequeen Fri 31-Jan-20 16:09:38

Oooh I thought I was working class. Am I really lower middle class because I like table manners? What do I have to like to become middle middle class grin?

wot Fri 31-Jan-20 16:15:08

I can't help judging people who hold their cutlery like a pen. They look so common.

LadyGracie Fri 31-Jan-20 16:16:36

Elbows on the table is my biggest bugbear. My DH tends to use just his fork which annoys me, using it to cut up food too, he never used to.

SueDonim Fri 31-Jan-20 16:30:14

Both my daughters are left-handed but they use their cutlery the same way as right handers.

I recently saw someone using their fork the ‘wrong’ way round to hold food down on the plate while they cut it, then putting the knife down, transferring the fork to their right hand and scooping up the bits they’d just cut. That was repeated until they’d eventually eaten everything, which took so long the last bits must have been stone cold.

Cabbie21 Fri 31-Jan-20 16:44:18

I can’t help thinking that so called baby-led weaning has a lot to do with it. Eating items with fingers which adults would use a fork to eat must surely lead to a delay in the proper use of cutlery.
Then there is the current trend not to tell children off, which means they don’t get corrected. I feel sorry for the “ dinner ladies” who have to educate them.

Marmight Fri 31-Jan-20 17:04:40

I’ve given up commenting on my GCs eating habits 🙄. 3 DDs all brought up with manners instilled into them have 8 children between them and none of them eat ‘properly’. Shovelers, scoopers, fingers, pushers, upside down forks, back to front knives, feet on chairs with knees up, kneeling on chairs not to mention the dreaded elbows. (I blame the fathers 😂)
I find myself repeating my mother’s oft recited ‘poem’ :

‘Grandchild’ ’Grandchild’ strong & able
Take your elbows off the table,
This is not a horses’s stable,
This is Granny’s dining table!’

My dear old Mama would
be turning in her grave.