Fork handles

My wife has a rather unusual obsession. She’s a fork freak. For some reason she always notices how people hold their fork, and becomes amusingly irritated when she sees someone doing it “wrong”. With children it’s forgiveable, but a grown adult holding an eating utensil like this


or this


or this


will be on the end of a withering stare and muttered comments about education and manners.

Luckily for me I know how to hold my fork “properly”, although I do have one fork quirk – I always hold it in my right hand. Some people assume that that makes me left-handed, which I can’t understand. I’m right-handed, so my instinct is to pick things up with my right hand, and that includes using forks, spoons, sporks or whetever, regardless of whether or not I also have to hold a knife in the other hand.

Finally, for those of you who don’t get the reference in the post title:

11 thoughts on “Fork handles

  1. Erik R. May 13, 2009 / 1:48 pm

    That skit was pretty funny. Tough to understand, though.

    Simon, when you set the table, do you “properly” put the fork on the left (and knife on the right) of the plate for everyone but yourself? Or do you just make the adjustment when eating commences?

    Hey, since when do the “possibly related posts” link to other people’s blogs?? Did you choose that behavior?


    • simonlitton May 13, 2009 / 1:51 pm

      Yes, I lay the table “properly” for everyone else and the way I want it for myself.
      And yes, I chose to have related posts from other sites. Other people do it too, so I’ve had visitors to my blog from other sites with the same set-up. Win-win.


  2. jagosaurus May 13, 2009 / 2:10 pm

    I have always been astounded that the fork is typically placed on the left since I am left-handed and therefore used to being oppressed at every level by the cruel right-handed majority. That something is conveniently placed for a lefty always seems like it might be a trap.

    No, I’m not nurturing a resentment at all.


  3. Karen meg May 14, 2009 / 4:39 am

    Ooof, Simon, this is a pet peeve of mine (and my husband’s too, for that matter). I’ve seen people use the first two grips, and my opinion of them just plummets… call me a fork etiquette snob LOL! I think it looks somewhat brutal, especially sawing away at anything on the plate.

    What’s especially awkward is that our niece holds her fork in one of those grips and I cannot for the life of me understand why her parents haven’t taught her the proper way. I hesitate to say anything though (in laws), she’s a teenager now; it’s just awkward and I fear it might cause people judge her harshly in the future in dining situations. She’s a very bright girl and it’s just weird.


  4. gwen May 16, 2009 / 1:24 pm

    That third pic looks like something from the Ministry of Silly Grips.

    I’m right-handed, but I always hold my fork in my left hand, including for picking up and eating. I must have taught myself this at some point, because I hardly ever encounter Americans who eat this way; I certainly didn’t learn it from my parents.

    One of my high school friends was in Italy many years ago, and was eating at a restaurant with another American. They both cut their food knife-in-right-hand, then switched their forks to their right hands to eat. An Italian woman at a nearby table actually started laughing at them.


  5. Di May 24, 2009 / 5:21 pm

    Oh man, I think I hold my fork properly. It’s early, confused, I have no idea about which hand I hold my fork in … I thought it was my right hand. Sigh, something for later.

    I do know that I play darts and baseball left-handedly, pool and snooker too. I guess that just confirms the fact that I’m a bit odd 😉


  6. TB August 31, 2010 / 7:10 am

    Hi Simon!

    I used your fork pictures for a post on my blog. I linked the part of the post I talk about it to your blog as well. I hope you don’t mind, but if you do, let us know and we will remove it from there.

    You are more than welcome to check the post here:




  7. metallica November 17, 2011 / 5:01 am

    the proper way is however the fuck you want


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