BRITISH TABLE MANNERS
A French saying suggests that, ”While the English have good table manners, the French __________(1) how to eat.” It is certainly true to say that, generally speaking, while the Englishman attempts to push peas on to his fork, the Frenchman turns the fork upside down and uses it more __________(2) a spoon, thus accelerating the process of eating and enjoying –albeit without scoring highly on etiquette.
The British continue to use a knife and fork in the traditional way. Both are held while eating, the fork, with the prongs facing down, in the left __________(3), and the knife in the right, and in polite cirles they are rested on the plate between mouthfuls, or for a break for conversation. Some young people are adopting the American habit of cutting up all their food first and then eating it with just the fork; though traditionalsts view this as ”not correct”, and childish. If nothing on the plate requires cutting, then it is acceptable to use only a fork, held in the right hand. A spoon and fork are used for eating __________(4), including spaghetti.
Unlike the French custom, English children were traditionally brought up to rest their hands in their lap; later you were allowed to put your wrists on the table; but putting your __________(5) on the table, and, worst of all, resting your chin on your hands, were definitely not allowed. The idea was that you should not flop about lazily over the table, and this sort of behavior would elicit the remark, ”Do you feel ill”? Would you like to lie down?” Nowadays these manners are less strictly adhered to, except on formal occasions.
/Adapted from Culture Smart! - Britain/