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Thread: Table manners - What's important

  1. #1
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    Table manners - What's important

    Hi, Everyone

    Basic table manners seem to be evaporating in society across all age groups.

    I just wrote the below tips on table manners to give to a college student I have been mentoring.

    The list is posted here in case you know someone young through family or work who could benefit from it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Table manners - whatís important


    Following the below customs shows respect. Breaking them is offering insult.


    These rules apply to all venues. In business situations, following them is a great way to impress higher-ups with maturity and consideration for others.


    Never, never, never talk with food in your mouth.
    It looks gross and you cannot tuck food out of site. Impossible. Plus you appear vain and controlling: you think what you have to say is more important than others feeling disgusted.
    If you are asked a question, people will wait for your answer or move the conversation along without your reply.


    Turn off cell phone.
    Never bring a phone to the table. Leave it in your pocket or purse with power off. Check messages after meal and away from table.


    Imbibe no more than 2 drinks with alcohol.
    Beer and wine preferred. Mixed drinks with soda pop (such as Rum and Coke) are considered adolescent choices.


    Cover mouth when sneezing or coughing.
    If coughing / sneezing is persistent, leave the table.


    Contribute to conversation.
    If you usually donít have much to say, take a look at the news before the meal. NYTimes.com is good.


    Only take second helpings if the hostess/host offers.
    And never ask to take home ďleftovers.Ē But you may accept if offered by hostess/host. Donít take home leftovers from restaurants.


    Food you donít like
    Mess it about on the plate so it looks like you have eaten some.


    No gum at dining table or anywhere else
    Chewing gum is childish and gross to see - like talking with food in your mouth. If you chew gum to hide tobacco smell, use mints or breath strips.
    The ONLY place you can acceptably chew gum is on an airplane. People understand you are dealing with ear pain.


    Never pass something over the plate of someone else.


    Some people say these customs donít apply to friends and family.
    I wonder why people treat friends and family worse than they treat others.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    These are good common sense rules.

    There are others that signal good manners even though one might ask why. Such as, I remember one time when I was in college I went out to eat with Jessica and Terilynn. When we got back and Terilynn had left the room, Jessica said to me, "I was surprised when Terilynn buttered her bread all at once! I thought she had better manners." Up until then, I had absolutely no clue that you're supposed to tear off pieces of bread and then butter the pieces one at a time.

    Another example is handling of utensils. There are a couple of accepted ways to use forks and knives and others not-so-acceptable. My husband was raised by his Scottish family, so he eats the UK way, with the knife ALWAYS in the right hand and the fork ALWAYS in the left. I follow American custom, cutting with the knife in my right hand but switching hands to eat. I have to admit that I don't like to see people gripping the fork with the fist wrapped around the handle, skewering the meat while it's being sawed by the knife. But if I had to choose, I'd rather have someone be pleasant and polite at the table than use their utensils properly.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    You are wrong about restaurant leavings. Of course it is ok to pack them out!

    Here are a few more:

    Eating with hands is tacky and wrong in most formal- ish sitations at a table. Fried chicken and etc may be exceptions.

    The low class behavior I see most often is poor posture with the eater hunching overhis plate, elbows on table and often one arm cradleing his plate, and shoving in food quickly.

    edited to add: oh, I see these are intended for busness get togethers. Well then, ok. I guess I would NOT
    pack up leftover food in this situation.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 2-15-18 at 4:29pm.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Personally i dont use either utensil custom. As a left hander i always picked up the fork woth my left hand to eat. And if i needed the knofe i just pickednit up with the roght hand (it was on that sode of the plate after all...) and started cutting. It wasnt until i was in moddle school that i even noticed that this was non-standard.

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    Well, I am with Iris. Food that is not eaten in restaurants is going home with us for the next day or the next meal. They serve way too much food anyway.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I don't know why the upside down fork in the left hand bugs me so much, but it does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    I don't know why the upside down fork in the left hand bugs me so much, but it does.
    Me too along with eating anything, other than a sandwich, with fingers or hands. This should go without saying but along with never talk with food in your mouth is close your mouth when chewing - in a restaurant, at home at the dinner table, snacking while watching TV, at a picnic - - chew with your mouth closed!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    That's one reason I like Ethiopian restaurants--they're an all-hands-on-deck free for all. And also, I love the food...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    I don't know why the upside down fork in the left hand bugs me so much, but it does.
    In Europe that is the way. Here not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    That's one reason I like Ethiopian restaurants--they're an all-hands-on-deck free for all. And also, I love the food...
    I have been meaning to go to the Ethiopian Restaurant since December! Must go, note to self.

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