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Table Setting Guide

Emily Post's etiquette everyday ~ entertaining.



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Emily Post's name has become synonymous, at least in North America, with proper etiquette and manners.

"For a basic table setting (pictured), here are two great tricks to help you – remember the order of plates and utensils:

1.Picture the word “FORKS.” The order, left to right is: F for Fork, O for Plate (the shape!), K for Knives and S for Spoons. (Okay – you have to forget the r, but you get the idea!)

2. Holding your hands in front of you, touch the tips of your thumbs to the tips of your forefinergers to make a lower case ‘b’ with your left hand and a lower case ‘d’ with your right hand. This reminds you that ‘bread and butter’ go to the left of the place setting and ‘drinks’ go on the right. Emily Post could have used that trick – she was often confused about which bread and butter belonged to her—and sometimes she used her neighbor’s! In which case, when it was called to her attention, she would say to the dismayed lady or gentleman, “Oh, I am always mixing them up. Here, please take mine!”

3. Some other things to know:
* Knife blades always face the plate
* The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate
* The bread and butter plate and knife are optional

Check out the "informal" and "formal" table settings.
Also check out the "Men's Top Five Mistakes" article on the left hand navigation. There are some good points."




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