Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility – A Guide to Etiquette & More

In Essential Manners for Men, 2nd Edition, Peter Post published the results of a 2011 survey conducted by the Emily Post Institute in which respondents were asked to describe areas where men have significant problems with personal appearance. Foul body-odor, smoking in the presence of non-smokers, foul language all emerged as significant problems.

Here you can find links to all articles in our series Rules of Civility.

  1. Table Etiquette – Guide to Informal Dining Events
  2. Dinner Etiquette – Formal Dining
  3. Handwritten Notes & Correspondence
  4. The Cocktail Party
  5. Dinner Parties
  6. The Art of Conversation
  7. all other etiquette guides

We might lament this crudeness as a reflection of the decline of Western Civilization; but we may take heart in knowing that rules of proper conduct were being written and disseminated by the grandson of Ptahhotep, an Egyptian official during the late 25 century B.C. and early 24th century B.C. in the form of the Maxims of Ptahhotep.

The Vizier Ptahhotep authored The Maxims of Ptahhotep

The Vizier Ptahhotep authored The Maxims of Ptahhotep

Clearly people were behaving in ways others deemed alarming, even 4300 years ago. That concern has never left us. In 1595 the pensionnaires at the Jesuit College of La Fleche (France) wrote a treatise entitled Bienseance de la Conversation entre les Hommes (The Propriety of Conversation Between Men). They sent this treatise to their brothers at Pont-a-Mousson.

Once there, a certain Father Perin translated the maxims into Latin and added a chapter on proper eating at the table in 1671. This edition was later translated into German, Spanish and Bohemian. In 1640 a precocious eight-year-old named Francis J. Hawkins translated the French version into the English Rules of Civility. His pleased father found a publisher, William Lee, who published the English version in 1640. A second addition did not appear until 1646. The book found favor among Protestants, Romanists and Cavaliers alike as way to a path to finding favor among more connected men. Nine more editions appeared by 1672.

Rules of Civility by Francis Hawkins

Rules of Civility by Francis Hawkins

With each edition, historians surmise the text was altered. Indeed, in 1664 the Puritanist bookmaker Robert Codrington added a second part entitled “Youth’s behavior, or Decency in Conversation amongst Women.” Maxims and chapters were added, simplified and rearranged by people or persons unknown. From Hawkins original translation a person or persons culled one hundred and ten maxims, edited and arranged them, into a version which became pivotal for a young George Washington.

George Washington

George Washington

George Washington

When he was 16 years old, George Washington, first president of the United States, wrote out a version of the Rules of Civility in what has come to be known as the 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. These rules influenced his behavior and expectations of others throughout his life.

Our more modern notions of courtesy and manners in the West all derive from behavior focused on or about the royal court. The word courtesy is derived from the Old French. Chivalry comes from chevalier, a knight, a man who followed prescribed rules of behavior. What Washington sought to do was practice the rules of civil behavior among men as equals. After all, the American Revolution sought to dismantle the royal family as a method of rule. But even for Washington, manners and civil behavior became an important feature of his leadership and could not simply be discarded, even in an emerging society where informality among men became the preferred practice.

How to greet correctly

How to greet correctly

Why Manners?

Cell phones, email and a more relaxed attitude about public dress – particularly in America – may suggest we are living in a post-manners society, and, if we are not, we should be. But manners are still necessary.

Manners allow us to be comfortable around others and others to be comfortable around us. Without manners, we may inadvertently offend other people. Our offense may cause us to lose an important client, be denied a promotion or be given the cold shoulder after a first date.

Respect and Consideration

Manners thrive in environments where a man respects others and also himself. A well-mannered man gives his full attention to another, asks open-ended questions, resists laughing at jokes uttered at another’s expense and offers assistance to a stranger. He has impeccable hygiene and is well- and appropriately dressed.

If a man chooses not to bathe and wear ratty shorts on a first date, then he alone is responsible when his date chooses not to see him again. A man alone is responsible for his lack of career advancement if he shoves food into his mouth at corporate events or repeats off-color jokes.

Cultural context will dictate how to eat properly and with respect

Cultural context will dictate how to eat properly and with respect

Education

The Post Institute’s 2011 survey results suggest education about manners, etiquette and courtesy is still necessary. Manners may be learned at any age by anyone, regardless of their standing in life. How to conduct oneself in public, how to converse, how to listen well, how to eat at a table, how to write a proper thank-you note – in essence how to act in such a way as to make all comfortable around one – are questions to which men today may still seek answers. Furthermore, these questions are not answered by rote, and, once answered, must be practiced repeatedly, knowing we will be challenged constantly.

A gentleman who competently displays courteous manners and strong personal grooming may find himself with an edge in his chosen career. He will also find himself well-liked and well-remembered. Gentlemen who are quite simply nice in as many situations in which they find themselves will distinguish themselves from others in their peer group.

Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette

Culture Drives Etiquette

Culture drives etiquette. Whether it is a wedding where no alcohol is served nor dancing permitted or a formal Japanese banquet where chopsticks are used, what is considered correct with regard to manners is always contextual.

Hence, a gentleman always knows his context. In Ethiopia he knows he is expected to eat with his right hand; in Korea, he knows how to use chopsticks; in France, he knows not to butter his bread. Understanding these differences – and executing them with style and aplomb – can make the difference in winning the partner of your dreams, making a fine impression on a potential business partner or advancing within your career.

Etiquette trainer Marci Lash, founder and Chief Etiquette Officer of the Contemporary Etiquette Institute, has worked with clients whose careers have stalled or been derailed because they ate like cavemen or struggled with basic hygiene. “Often when a man fails at or struggles with manners he had no appropriate role-modelling from parents. If his parents failed to instruct him on which fork to use for which course or the value of sending a thank-you card, he probably won’t act in these ways as an adult. Such parental failings cut across all incomes and ethnic backgrounds.”

An Arab person shaking hands with a businessman

An Arab businessman shaking hands with another businessman

While it may be easy to dismiss manners as nattering uttered by uptight, stuffy people, people will judge others. They will judge others based on how they eat and what they wear and whether or not they cover their mouth when they cough. We may not like such judgements. But judgement regarding failed manners is universal. The man without manners makes others feel uncomfortable. We must understand how such failings cost us.

Over the next several months, Gentleman’s Gazette will be publishing a series of articles on The Rules of Civility. Manners may be learned, and this is good. We need look no further than the great Cary Grant to remind us that manners may be learned at any age. Gentleman’s Gazette, among other things, can instill in a man a high-degree of self-respect. By dressing well and pursuing strong personal hygiene any man is well on his way to improving his self-care and consideration. The Rules of Civility seeks to carry this self-respect into daily living. Through a variety of topics, The Rules of Civility will provide comprehensive guides that will provide a man with the behaviors he needs to be always be remembered as a gentleman.

Did you like this article? Continue with our Etiquette Guide!

42 replies
  1. Dominique says:

    The fish knife on the picture is not a fish knife !!!! And by the way, it is very american to assimilate smoking to bad manners.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      It is indeed not a traditional fish knife. Historically, fish knives were necessary because of the flavor the blades of regular knives would cause. Today, the steel of blades does not have any impact on the flavor anymore, which is why fish knives are not really necessary anymore. That being said, I still like the look of a fish knife.
      Smoking is per se not an issue of bad manners, however if it affects others who don’t smoke then it is indeed a sign of bad manners, not just in the US. However, I have to agree with you that things like smoking are stigmatizes in the US while other like eating fast food are not.
      Of course, by eating fast food you likely increase health care costs which is reflected in higher rates for the general public including the ones who don’t eat it, whereas with smoking there is a more direct connection…

  2. Richard de Meath says:

    I agree with Dominique. Not only is the fish knife, the fish fork is also not a fish fork. Here in the UK, it is now considered bad manners to smoke, and smoking at meal times is certainly not permissible.
    The very idea of eating with food in the mouth marks one down as a cretin – or worse.
    Sadly, it seems that texting a ‘Thank you for…!’ is gradually replacing the thoughtful Thank You card.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      That’s correct as well but most suppliers of silverware in the US do not offer fish silverware and even in Europe fish silverware is difficult to find. And if so, then usually at much higer prices than regular forks and knives.
      Also, at very expensive restaurants in the US I have yet to see fish forks and knives.
      I find it always interesting to look at Victorian silverware sets with a rich assortment of specialty silverware that has not survived anymore.

      • Daniel Gerson says:

        As much as I dislike being of a differing opinion, but obtaining fish cutlery is not much of an issue, at least in Germany. I could name at least five shops/stores in my hometown that have one story reserved for cutlery alone and there you can find all kinds of fish cutlery – steel, silver or gold.

        We own a set for 12 along with special fish serving cutlery for example and that is also what you would usually find in a decent restaurant here.

        Though we already had guests who were a bit baffled when they saw the fish cutlery, not knowing what to make of them.

        • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

          I guess, it depends on where you live in Europe, and what silver you use. Gold is hideous imo, and it is difficult to get fish cutlery for my WMF 2300 and WMF 2500. The key is to have a complete matching set. What are the five shops do you think have that?

          Does your fish cutlery match the set? What set do you have?

          European restaurants are different, that’s why I pointed out the US.

          • Daniel Gerson says:

            I am with you on gold being a hideous choice. In terms of silver, I would always choose 925 sterling silver, if it really had to be silver. Though the use one gets out of silver cutlery usually doesn’t warrant the price of a new set in the first place.

            Off the top of my head, these would be shops to certainly have fish cutlery in store:

            Carschhaus
            Franzen
            Kaufhof an der Kö
            WMF store
            Zwilling store

            Apart from them, certain antique shops stock cutlery, manufacturers provide a backorder service or one checks ebay.

            As for the matching set we own, I can’t actually name the exact production code, as that has never been of particular interest. Though I am certain it is a WMF set.

          • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

            If it is a WMF, you should be able to google it. Our set was inherited but we keep buying pieces on ebay because silver is expensive. While our silver set is 925 sterling, 800 is just as fine. For everyday silver we use the silver plated WMF 2300.

  3. Sherrill Morris says:

    Growing up in rural Kansas, I was taught a solid set of manners, however I believe they would not be the same manners spoken of in this article. For example, I have never seen a place setting such as they one pictured here! I am thrilled to see a series such as this, for three reasons. First, I will learn from it for myself. Second, I can refer my male friends to it. And third, as a woman, I will learn what to expect from a gentleman. Thank you for promoting civility, something missing in our national discourse. Perhaps it starts in the restaurant and moves into our conversations, both with friends and political adversaries.

  4. Eric cartmell says:

    It is not considered bad manners in th UK to smoke.

    “The very idea of eating with food in the mouth marks one down as a cretin – or worse”

    Putting the food in the mouth is the usual method, in fact. If not in the mouth, then by what other ingenious method would one conduct it to the stomach?

  5. Tim jackson says:

    Dear Sven, I enjoyed your article and agree with it all. As a worker with a very vigorous outdoor job who likes to dress in my down time I am very sensitive to heat indoors and wearing ties increases our temperature so does have a practical function.

    • Geo. Winters says:

      If I read you properly, you’re saying that although you like to dress up when you can, you generate a lot of heat, and you find wearing a tie makes you even hotter.

      Is that correct?

      If that is the case, I would recommend you wear clothes that breathe (i.e., let air flow through them). Voile (well-nigh impossible to find off the rack) is a good choice for shirting; other options include linen, linen/cotton blends, and thin cotton/synthetic blends (Uniqlo has affordable options in the summer).

      Linen, linen-blend, and poplin jackets, trousers, and suits are another option, though best for summer. High-numbered “super” wools are the modern answer to tropical wool, can be worn year-round, and often wear cool, though the higher the number, the greater the propensity towards wrinkling and the shorter the life of the garment. If you can afford it, high-twist fabrics like Fresco, Finmeresco, and CrispAire breathe well.

      Grenadine and knit ties breathe a little better than their woven brethren.

      Unlined suede shoes, or something like Allen Edmonds’ “Strawfut,” offer greater breathability than regular shoes. Thinner socks are not always more comfortable; I have a pair of thick-ish casual socks with an open weave that keep my feet much cooler than most socks, even ones much thinner. Of course, the higher the synthetic fiber content, the warmer the sock, so go for cotton with just a touch of artificial fiber for shape.

      Having said all that, you still might feel overheated when dressed nicely. I consider that a small price to pay for looking, and feeling, good.

  6. josette says:

    I love the subjects you all cover in the newsletter. I, like lots of wives, have the could we address the subject of conversations which involve someone in group gossiping and being negative about a missing member of the group. ignore? stand up for missing person? suggest new topic of conversation?

    • Jay Sennett says:

      Hello Josette,

      If I understand you correctly, you are asking how, when you are in a group, to address gossiping and negativity about someone absent from the group, yes?

  7. JC says:

    As an American who lives in New York City, I’ve come to associate the English with better manners and dress. It seems to me that many Americans, especially politicians, try to impress people with how “common” they are, usually with great success. We did have a president after all, who despite coming from a family with multiple generations of Yale graduates and a thorough “Eastern Establishment” pedigree, insisted on talking like a cowboy. Is there some truth to what I’m thinking? Or am I just deluded by a Downton Abbey/Savile Row fantasy?

    • Daniel Gerson says:

      I suppose Downton Abbey is hardly representative of Englnd in 2013. There certainly may be remnants of that bygone era to be found, but the evil, known as globalization, has not excluded the spread of bad manners from its endeavour to conquer the world.

      Nowadays, at least that is my impression, it doesn’t matter where you happen to stay or live, it is always down to the individual’s desire to either behave in an agreeable way or not.

    • Jay Sennett says:

      “It seems to me that many Americans, especially politicians, try to impress people with how “common” they are, usually with great success.”

      I agree. As an American, I lament the so-called folksy approach our elected officials adopt. Frankly, I want my President, and all members of his cabinet, to be smarter, better dressed and more well-mannered than the average American.

      I fear our informal culture, with less seeming emphasis on titles, for example, has given way to a culture of sloth in dress and manners.

  8. Edgar Bosque's says:

    Mr. Schneider I don’t care what other people say about what you or another writer has to say about civility and decent behavior. The fact that you are trying to bring integrity, morals and shivery back to America is great but long gone. Oprah killed shivery when she said, ” a woman does not need a man to open doors for them, in the early eighties and the mid eighties the hip-hop urban youth were at peace with one another. They didn’t fight instead they break dance against each other and dress to impress cloths like dome button top kangol hats, mock necks, Pea coats, leather blazers, leather or cloth dress gloves and to top it all off with a pair of British Knights shoe of all colors and two tones, but our government enter feared the police deportment was sort of staff and going broke. No crimes were committed so they past the law that parents can’t chastise or discipline their children that is when civility and decent behavior ended.

  9. Edgar Bosque's says:

    Love what you are trying to do, I’am with you all the way. Theirs an old saying, “It takes a village to raise one child.” I’am with you and willing to teach our youth the rules of civility and decent behavior. Thank God that there is someone like thank you vary much. P.S. I’am always a dapper dan.

  10. Edgar Bosque's says:

    My apologies, I meant to write (thank God that there is someone like you), just to clarify what I wrote before. Thanks.

  11. delaine says:

    I’m beginning to feel like an English teacher, is it “chivalry” or shivery?? Or, maybe even an old fashioned “shivaree.” Depends upon the intent!! 😉

    • Geo. Winters says:

      Open the door for your date/girlfriend/wife, as well as your mother, grandmothers, and aunts. Always open the door for a pregnant woman, or one who’s got her hands full with little ones.

      If you’re going through a door, and there’s someone coming right after you, hold the door, regardless of the person’s sex. I’ve been doing that for decades, and have yet to get a complaint.

  12. D. Bowen says:

    I think that all of the regular and serious readers of this excellent website will appreciate the need for manners, and indeed will welcome a reminder and affirmation of that need. This being said, as loyal readers, we might express the best ways in which information on manners might be conveyed, and conveyed to the sorts of readers of this site. There are a couple manners-related points I would welcome being able to find in articles on the subject on the Gentleman’s Gazette.

    1.
    Useful ways of dealing with the competing demands of life and manners. The demands of social interactions often compete with one another in ways which are not seen in, for example shoe or coat selection.

    To give an example of such a dilemma, while it is easy to say that one should not disturb fellow passengers on public transportation with one’s mobile phone conversations, it is common in many workplaces to expect people to respond quickly, and be in contact more or less around the clock.

    A large proportion of manners articles and advice in magazines and on the internet are more concerned with listing one or another manners grievance than in devising solutions to it, and it is possible that in a publication featuring the supposed aphrodisiac effects of ‘Axe’ body spray, the mere discussion of the necessity of manners will in fact, find the correct audience.

    I suspect that readers of the Gentleman’s Gazette will benefit far more from methods of meeting the competing demands of social interaction however. Information on personal strategies or even such technological devices and services which help one to manage one’s life in a polite and considerate manner would be welcome.

    2.
    Methods of achieving a genuinely classic, as opposed to dated effect, not only in clothing, but in manners. This is a matter of considerable delicacy, because few sartorial details are actually offensive. It may look good to open a door for a lady, but may be seen as condescending, and a nuanced approach to such issues could be extremely useful in the lives of men who favor a traditional clothing style and presentation, and who might in their research and the development of their aesthetic, be drawn to attitudes or gestures which offend others unnecessarily.

    • Jay Sennett says:

      I appreciate both suggestions. The competing demands of social interactions are complicated today. Your suggested dilemma regarding work demands and cell phone use in public is spot on.

      In addition to balancing the needs of work, technology and public spaces, you raise an increasingly important point: changing gender relationships. For better or worse, we live in increasingly complex times. You have reminded me of one of the most basic tenets of good, and, indeed, timeless manners; namely, that manners can never be encapsulated in a list.

      What we may discover together over the next series of articles is that timeless manners center around other people. In one instance a lady may be delighted to have the door opened for her. Another woman may not. In our increasingly complex worlds, listening, observing body language may be tools we need to use more frequently than in years past.

      Still I find the whole of it a delightful and maddening joy!

  13. Alexander Cave says:

    Please let me caution everyone to using Downton Abbey as a guide to correct behaviour!

    It is packed with social gaffs and faux pas that it is almost a comedy at times – but perhaps that is the creators’ bit of sport at viewers’ expense. Much of the table manners seen – such as spitting out over-salted puddings in one dinneer scene- show just how far our loss of acceptable good manners has taken us, and how much they think they can get away with under artistic licence. The rule is you eat it without a word (even if it kills you), and even commenting on the quality of the fare or the setting shows a lack of politesse.

    The fish-knife issue has always been a tricky one, as they are a mid-Victorian creation and are often regarded as the sure mark of new money making a show. It is reputed that they are not used by the Royal Family, which is something to consider.

    Smoking is another tricky topic. Although often done at the table (sometimes between courses), it is more a matter of when and where, rather than if. Convention has it that gentlemen only smoke after the meal has concluded, and the ladies have left the table. The men should swap their dinner jackets (not white-tie tails) for smoking-jackets while smoking, joining the ladies later having put back on their dinner jackets – thus sparing the ladies’ delicate sensibilities from the manly odour of tobacco. To appear in ladies’ company or in public in a smoking jacket is a grave offence!

    Buttering the bread in France (or in the Anglo-Saxon world for that matter – I cannot comment for other countries) is correct, but to cover a whole piece is not. Generally speaking, the bread is broken by hand and small, delicate amounts are eaten with the fingers, it being quite right to add a dab of butter if desired. More importantly, no part of the body should touch the table, let alone rest on one elbow while eating with the other hand.

    Polite manners and ettiquete has always been a sbject for much-needed instruction – but never more so than today, so every encouragement to Gentleman’s Gazzette. Manners have been created to save ourselves from each others’ baser qualities that we are all born with. To ignor ettiquate and shun good behaviour sends the message that no care or concern is given to others, and the higher up in the social scale the individual, the worse the offence.

    Having spent a considerable amount of time living in rural communities in different parts of the Third World, I am always shocked at how barbaric industrial nations’ sophisticated city dwellers are by contrast. I used to see a sign fixed to a rural bus-stop which read “Courtesy costs nothing – give generously.” Surely this is an istruction we should all heed.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Good points. The bread etiquette you described is the same in Germany. However, in the US people butter their entire piece of bread and then bite into it…
      Manners were invented to create a structure for living together in a society and it seems to me like the peak of formal manners was somewhere during the Regency and Victorian period. However, if societies have changed, I don’t think it is a problem to butter the entire bread and eat it because at the end of the day, it is just a manmade rule and if everybody agrees, why not change it.
      Also, I think we have to be careful not to assume that British manners are the standard around the world. For example in Britain, it seems to me like quietness is appreciated by many people and you are taught not to disturb others. On the other hand, in Brazil, the general noise level among people is much higher but everybody is fine with it, so why would they change it?
      Unfortunately, tailcoats are hardly ever worn and the vast majority doesn’t even own one. Of course, if you wear one, don’t sit on your tails because of tradition but most people would not notice the faux pas, because they simply don’t know.
      As such, I think it is important to talk about manners relevant today but in order to do that, it usually pays to look back and see how they have developed over time.

      • Alexander Cave says:

        I agree with you, Raphael.

        We should not confuse etiquete with good manners, although the observance of one usually leads naturally to the other.

        It is a fair generalisation to say that modern dress codes, partciularly for men, have their origins in British conventions, but have been adapted to suit local preferences as the fashions have been adopted overseas, without becoming bad-mannered.

        The American habit of wearing black-tie and dinner-jacket for a wedding might seem very odd to some, but it is not bad-mannerd to do so. Belching after a meal is considered a complimentary action in some societies, but to do so when in other society would only be regarded as out-and-out rudeness, even if belcher’s home practice were known.

        Your noisy Brazillian is fine in Brazil, but if the he were noisy elsewhere he runs the risk of censure. Politeness is as much observance of local conventions and etiquette as anything; disregarding them because you yourself do something different at home is simply rude.

        The old adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is as true to-day as it ever was.

  14. Geo. Winters says:

    “But even for Washington, manners and civil behavior became an important feature of his leadership and could not simply be discarded, even in an emerging society where informality among men became the preferred practice.”

    American society in Washington’s time was formal, and Washington was a great proponent of proper behavior. Recall that duels were fought—to the death—over matters of honor (think of the Burr-Hamilton duel). Although there were various changes, the trend towards informality as we understand it today did not start until the 20th century.

    • Jay Sennett says:

      In comparison to 21st century America, Washington’s time was certainly formal.

      But American society in Washington’s time was informal in comparison to British society. I would argue the rise of informality actually began with him and those of his generation. Overthrowing the monarchy also meant undermining the manners of the court of the King, of the landed gentry and peers of England.

      To be the leader of the country and to approach any man as an equal – in theory – was quite informal compared to England during Washington’s time.

      In rereading what I wrote, I did not make that distinction. So thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  15. M. Montrouge says:

    Mr Schneider,

    I would like to thank you for this interesting article and generally speaking for your entire work on the Gentleman’s Gazette. It is a real pleasure for me to read it, although i do not completely master the english language since i’m french.

    That being said i would like to add some precisions about the origin of the word “courtesy”. According to the French Academy and the Emile Littré’s dictionary, the french word “courtoisie” is derivated from the adjective “courtois” (courtly) which comes from the old french “court”, that is to say “cour” : the residence of the ruling family.

  16. Rob Warren says:

    Thank you for this article. Even though the first two comments were based around a mistake in the picture. In America, the need for manners out weigh the correction of a picture. I am usually always concerned with the proper protocol and showing the manners I was taught. Also thanking my host/hostess with a simple note ,is so very important. We who know what a fish fork looks like,understand the gross lack of civility shown in our country. Without manners, we are like animals. Again thank you for this article,reguardless of its flaws in the picture.

  17. Brian Sheehan says:

    Greetings,

    This is a very useful website. I do have a question, though, based on the Dining Etiquette graphic shown above.

    I understand that utensils should be used in order starting from the outermost utensil and working inwards toward the plate. The graphic states that the order of a formal 7-course dinner is: soup, fish, sorbet, meat/fowl, salad, dessert and coffee.

    My question is: if this is the correct order and if one should work from outermost utensil inwards, then why does the salad knife & fork pair appear after the soup spoon?

    Either the given order is incorrect or a diner needs to start with soup, jump over the salad utensils and use the fish utensils, proceed to meat/fowl utensils and then jump back to the salad utensils. I am not sure which utensils would be used during the sorbet course.

    If anyone can enlighten me, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you again for the excellent website.

    Regards,
    Brian

    • Jay Sennett says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your question. Indeed, the graphic is confusing. The order of the utensils, as compared to what appears in the text, suggests a different meal plan.

      When presented with utensils, the order in which the dishes are served will follow the utensils. So the rule applies to always eat outside in.

      A sorbet spoon will be served with the sorbet. Not all utensils will appear on the table; but will always accompany the dish being served, if they do not appear on the table.

      I hope this makes sense. Thank you for pointing out the confusing language.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] begin our periodic series Rules of Civility with a detailed guide to table etiquette and manners in informal dining […]

Comments are closed.