# Good manners

#### Townsend

Evo said:
My Aunt and Uncle are a Count and Countess and own a very beautiful well known 14th century castle in France. I was raised with Aristrocratic manners.
Are you serious? I bet you're loaded... :!!) I like a woman with some $$#### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member gerben said: Yes, that is apparently the difference. I was somewhat amazed when I read the responses in this thread approving of switching knife and fork while eating. I have seen people do this, and I guess now that they were probably mostly Americans. I always thought that they did that because of a lack of manual dexterity, just like little children who also try to refuse to use their left hand as much as possible. Yeah, I only became aware of the difference across continents on some occassion when I wasn't bothering to switch hands (I recall being in the dining hall in college, probably trying to eat quickly between classes), when someone sitting with me asked if I was European; when I asked why they thought that, they explained about the fork thing. #### Evo Mentor Moonbear said: I do know not to drink out of the finger bowl though, even if it's flavored with lemon and there's a spoon nearby. It's not lemon soup? Oh dear. In Europe, the practise of keeping hands and elbows off the table doesn't work there. They want to see your hands above table to make sure you are not doing something naughty with them. #### Mk gerben said: There are two ways to use a knife and fork to cut and eat your food. They are the American style and the European or Continental style. Either style is considered appropriate. In the American style, one cuts the food by holding the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand with the fork tines piercing the food to secure it on the plate. Cut a few bite-size pieces of food, then lay your knife across the top edge of your plate with the sharp edge of the blade facing in. Change your fork from your left to your right hand to eat, fork tines facing up. (If you are left-handed, keep your fork in your left hand, tines facing up.) The European or Continental style is the same as the American style in that you cut your meat by holding your knife in your right hand while securing your food with your fork in your left hand. The difference is your fork remains in your left hand, tines facing down, and the knife in your right hand. Simply eat the cut pieces of food by picking them up with your fork still in your left hand. Sometimes it seems like theres rules and laws for everything. Even something as simple as eating. Moonbear said: Okay, I'm really unable to figure this one out. How do you "shovel" with a fork upside down? Wouldn't the fork have to be right side up to be shoveling with it? Ferromagnetic fork, paramagnetic foodstuffs. #### Evo Mentor Townsend said: Are you serious? I bet you're loaded... :!!) I like a woman with some$$\$
Seriously, they are royalty. And have a castle, and are related to the Price of Wales and King William the 1st of England.

Does me absolutely no good.

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
TheStatutoryApe said:
Conversely if you are dining with Japanese people the lady or waitor/waitress is supposed to pour. I was out with some exchange students once and wasn't sure what to think when the pretty girl sitting next to me demanded, politely ofcourse, to pour my sapporo for me.
In some cultures and situations the youngest is supposed to pour.
I was told that in Japanese culture, you never pour drinks for yourself. You pour for the others at the table, and someone else pours for you. But I could be wrong about that one. If I run into one of my Japanese friends at this conference, I'll ask (I'm not sure if he's here this year though; I haven't seen him yet).

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Evo said:
In Europe, the practise of keeping hands and elbows off the table doesn't work there. They want to see your hands above table to make sure you are not doing something naughty with them.
I was taught to rest your forearms or wrists on the edge of the table; you can see your hands above the table, but your elbows are off it. Darned uncomfortable if you ask me. If they don't want my elbows on the table or my hands in my lap, they ought to make the table padded!

#### Townsend

Evo said:
Does me absolutely no good.
That sux...I thought I had found another future ex Mrs. Townsend....

Townsend (is just joking around...mostly)

Last edited:

#### stoned

Evo said:
Seriously, they are royalty. And have a castle, and are related to the Price of Wales and King William the 1st of England.

Does me absolutely no good.

Wow ! you either drunk too much or watched too much TV.
by the way, what do they call you ? princess, baronness ?

#### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Evo said:
YOU ARE CORRECT!!!! I will break up with men that do not know this basic rule of dining etiquette. Also, the fork should not be upside down. I am horrified at how many people don't know how to eat.
Do you eat your sandwich with knife and fork? That is a basic rule of etiquette too. Would you break up if someone who eats his sandwich with his hands?

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Chi Meson said:
Stay away from Brits. THis left-handed, upside-down fork methodology is standard practice there; quite proper, I might add. Another thing I had to unlearn from my own mum.
Australians, too.

Evo said:
It is all passed down through our moms, isn't it? I learned from my mom, . . .
Well, my mom tried her best. I was just too recalcitrant.

Evo said:
No silverware, a smart move! I can eat potato salad with my fingers if need be. Licking the plate is also allowed.
OK, I can handle this.

Evo said:
Actually my mother is French. Very refined.

Evo said:
Perhaps aristocratic table manners are too much to expect? I believe Miss Manners suggested these as correct.
Probably in my case. Miss Manners would probably faint in my presence.

On the other hand, I make a great guard dog. So not need to worry about muggers or purse snatchers. Just give me a bowl of water and a pat on the head, and I'm happy.

gravenworld said:
They eat like barbarians.
I could make a barbarian look civilized.

Actually, this is my problem - "Assuming you are right handed after you cut a peice of meat, put the knife down and out of your right hand and switch the fork to your right hand and then eat. Too many times people just cut and eat with the fork still in their left hand. " This is traditional British and Australian. However, I did learn to switch fork to right hand, but turn it upside down and use like a spoon - but delicately.

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Astronuc said:
Actually, this is my problem - "Assuming you are right handed after you cut a peice of meat, put the knife down and out of your right hand and switch the fork to your right hand and then eat. Too many times people just cut and eat with the fork still in their left hand. " This is traditional British and Australian. However, I did learn to switch fork to right hand, but turn it upside down and use like a spoon - but delicately.
See, holding it in the direction that it could be used as a spoon seems like it's right side up to me. It always appears odd to me for someone to hold the fork the other way around, the way stuff would fall off easily if you didn't manage to fully stab it (I'm still trying to figure out how to eat crisp bacon with a fork...it's much easier to just grab a slice with your fingers, but when you're at a breakfast meeting, better etiquette seems required...scooping seems the only possible way).

#### zanazzi78

Evo said:
Actually, in the city, a man should walk on the inside. I learned the reason when I lived in Chicago and dated a very "streetwise" Italian. We were walkng on Rush Street and he insisted on walking on the inside, between me and the buildings. He explained that muggers and purse snatchers hid in the doorways and would grab at women, he wanted to put himself between me and possible harm. I had never even given any thought to it before then.
This is something my nan told me, the reason goes , if a car/ carrage! goes past and happens to go through a puddle the man would get soaked protecting the womans dress! i think it goes back to the victorian era when roads were full of potholes. But your Itallian guys reason is probably a little more upto date!

#### motai

Hmm.. wouldn't it be more logical if say, you were right handed and used the knife with the left hand, while maintaining the fork with the right hand? I'm sure that people don't have so little control with their left hand that they end up stabbing themselves or the person next to them. With this particular arrangement, there is no need to switch hands at all, so the process of eating is that much more efficient.

And I guess it can be adapted to upside-down usage, and can be reversed for left-handed people (knife on right hand, fork on left), though I personally don't see why an upside-down arrangement would be particularly useful in such a situation.

I have another idea. Eliminate the curvature of the fork so that there is no talk of all of this upside-down-up-frontside business. :tongue2:

#### wolram

Gold Member
From the wolram collection.

Formal Place Setting
Dining Etiquette
Table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression. They are visible signals of the state of our manners and therefore are essential to professional success. Regardless of whether we are having lunch with a prospective employer or dinner with a business associate, our manners can speak volumes about us as professionals.

Napkin Use

Ordering

If, after looking over the menu, there are items you are uncertain about, ask your server any questions you may have. Answering your questions is part of the server's job. It is better to find out before you order that a dish is prepared with something you do not like or are allergic to than to spend the entire meal picking tentatively at your food.

An employer will generally suggest that your order be taken first; his or her order will be taken last. Sometimes, however, the server will decide how the ordering will proceed. Often, women's orders are taken before men's.

As a guest, you should not order one of the most expensive items on the menu or more than two courses unless your host indicates that it is all right. If the host says, "I'm going to try this delicious sounding cheesecake; why don't you try dessert too," or "The prime rib is the specialty here; I think you'd enjoy it," then it is all right to order that item if you would like.

Should you be attending a formal dinner or banquet with pre-set place settings, it is possible to gain clues about what may be served by "reading" the place setting. Start by drawing an imaginary line through the center of the serving plate (the plate will be placed in the center of your dining space). To the right of this imaginary line all of the following will be placed; glassware, cup and saucer, knives, and spoons, as well as a seafood fork if the meal includes seafood. It is important to place the glassware or cup back in the same position after its use in order to maintain the visual presence of the table. To the left of this imaginary line all of the following will be placed; bread and butter plate (including small butter knife placed horizontally across the top of the plate), salad plate, napkin, and forks. Remembering the rule of "liquids on your right" and "solids on your left" will help in allowing you to quickly become familiar with the place setting.

Use of Silverware

When You Have Finished

Do not push your plate away from you when you have finished eating. Leave your plate where it is in the place setting. The common way to show that you have finished your meal is to lay your fork and knife diagonally across your plate. Place your knife and fork side by side, with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork, tines down, to the left of the knife. The knife and fork should be placed as if they are pointing to the numbers 10 and 4 on a clock face. Make sure they are placed in such a way that they do not slide off the plate as it is being removed. Once you have used a piece of silverware, never place it back on the table. Do not leave a used spoon in a cup, either; place it on the saucer. You can leave a soupspoon in a soup plate. Any unused silverware is simply left on the table.

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
Well, I don't expect or want to be treated differently just because I'm a woman. Some people may want to be protected, supported, and catered to, and some may prefer to have an equal role in a relationship. I suggest treating people the way they want to be treated.

#### Smurf

wolram said:
The knife and fork should be placed as if they are pointing to the numbers 10 and 4 on a clock face.
Okay, I was ALWAYS taught that 5 and 11 were the proper positioning. Yet on this thread I've heard everything BUT those. Now, I'm sure it really doesn't matter if you hit 4 or 5 but the inconsistancy annoys me.

#### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Evo said:
My most recent. Yes, he has. Even the Italian Stallion from Chicago that was from a working class family passed. Only one guy I went out on a date with failed, and someone set me up with him. I seem to be able to pick winners from a distance.
Heh, sorry for prying. It just seems like rules such as your "Fork Test" are a sure fire way to end up as a lonely cat lady. I have a test too, it's called the "Nitpicking About Inconsequential Details That Don't Mean A Hill Of Beans In Life Test". If a lady fails that one, then she gets kicked to the curb.

#### matthyaouw

Gold Member
Tom Mattson said:
I have a test too, it's called the "Nitpicking About Inconsequential Details That Don't Mean A Hill Of Beans In Life Test". If a lady fails that one, then she gets kicked to the curb.
Seconded

#### Chi Meson

Homework Helper
Evo said:
Seriously, they are royalty. And have a castle, and are related to the Price of Wales and King William the 1st of England.

Does me absolutely no good.
Watch the fork of the Prince of Wales: left-hand, tines down (unless you actually DID mean the "price of wales"...dunno 'bout him).

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
That's funny, I have a "Uses the Expression 'Hill of Beans' Test".

#### stoned

Evo said:
Actually my mother is French. Very refined. My Aunt and Uncle are a Count and Countess and own a very beautiful well known 14th century castle in France. I was raised with Aristrocratic manners. gravenworld is absolutely correct in what he wrote. I've known that all my life.

Perhaps aristocratic table manners are too much to expect? I believe Miss Manners suggested these as correct.

why we need to know that ?

ps. actually i'm kinda jealus not having blue blood in me :grumpy:

#### wolram

Gold Member
Smurf said:
Okay, I was ALWAYS taught that 5 and 11 were the proper positioning. Yet on this thread I've heard everything BUT those. Now, I'm sure it really doesn't matter if you hit 4 or 5 but the inconsistancy annoys me.
I can let you off for not placing your knife and fork correctly, as long as you remeber not to scrunch up your napkin and place it to the right of your plate.

#### hypatia

note to the ladies wearing silks or satin..or other slippy cloths

Fold your napkin in a triangle shape, and put the point side towards your knees and the napkin won't slip off your lap!

1. When breaking up, no 'lets be friends' BS. Saves time for both of the people.

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving