Blog: What do your table manners say about you?

Catherine Sleep | 17 June 2003

New Zealand Lamb has carried out a survey into how UK diners hold their cutlery and determined that the various styles hold the key to their personalities. Apparently the ‘pen hold’ style indicates that the diner is good with details but lacks imagination, while the ‘attack’ method, using only the fork in the right hand, suggests a character who is impetuous and energetic but lacks concentration.

A behavioural expert has been enlisted to help decode the link between eating habits and personality. Could an analysis of cutlery usage soon replace the graphology profiling sometimes used in the recruitment process?

How times have changed – not so long ago one’s table manners were scrutinised to tell observers just one thing: whether one had been brought up properly or not. It’s no secret that in certain circles failure to display awareness of etiquette still means you miss opportunities. Galling but true. I guess it’s best to know as many “rules” as possible and then decide when it serves to apply them.

Barbara Hinkel, a most helpful lady in Virginia, is marketing her very own ‘training cutlery set’ as part of a campaign to correct the “abominable” table manners she spies around her. The tools are moulded with “discrete indentations” to encourage correct usage. Kind of funny, but hey, if parents are going to great lengths to make sure their kids get a good academic education they might as well help them avoid social obstacles to advancement too. Snobbery exists; always has, always will.

Training cutlery


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