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Nov 27, 2007 02:08 PM

"Knife on the left, fork on the right" – Is this acceptable for the left-handed?

"Fork on the left, knife on the right" – I'm left-handed. I simply couldn't handle knife on the right. So to me, it's always "knife on the left, fork on the right". Is this widely acceptable? Or do I have to explain it to the ones sitting next to me all the time? ;-)

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  1. Pffff. I am ambi-dextrous, but can only eat with the fork in my right, and the knife in my left hand. I cut foods with my left. I write with my left -- well, the little hand-writing one does these days, if any. BUT, I do all sports with my right hand (throwing balls, holding rackets & bats, etc.).

    People sitting next to you should just deal, imho.

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      I am ambi also. I have had to live in a right handed world and so much doesn't matter.

      Last Oct31, I fell and broke right wrist. Cast to my shoulder for 7 weeks. One handed is more difficult, esp with pho (usu have chopsticks in one hand, soup spoon in other...)

    2. Why on earth would it be anyone's business which hand you use for which implement? Miss Manners would be appalled should anyone presume to correct you.

      I have only minimal use of my right arm, and I know what I'd say if anyone tried to tell me which hand I may use for what.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wayne keyser

        I suspect it's more about (literally) bumping elbows with the right handers while eating when sitting next to them. Happens to me all the time although nobody's ever complained or had the audacity to suggest I eat with my right hand.

      2. It's perfectly acceptable, but interesting to hear. I'm completely left handed as well, but can only eat with fork in left and knife in right.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PaulV

          PaulV, curious...i'm completely left-handed (throw left, write left) but I cut left, fork right. Any other permutation seems sorrowfully awkward to me, which is most of the world. As long as elbows are in and not flailing, it's nobody's business. We all know how to place utensils when we have finished.

          1. re: PaulV

            I, too, am completely left-handed but I have always held my fork in my left hand and my knife in my right. I make sure I sit at the end of the table whenever possible and it's never a problem.

          2. As a southpaw, I always try to choose a corner seat if possible where people won't be elbowing me too much. I have learned, as I am sure most lefties have, to keep my arms close to my body when dining. Unlike some of you I keep my fork in my left hand, and cut with my right.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KaimukiMan

              As far as how the table is set, I certainly do not expect the host to reverse the silver placement in order to accomodate me. In fact, the placement with the fork on the left and knife on the right work well. If I get decrepit enough that I can't reach across for the spoon, then chances are someone will be feeding me anyhow.

            2. As far as I know, properly Americans switch knife and fork between hands when cutting and bringing food to the mouth. Of course the Europeans among us eschew the zig-zagging and choose to keep the utensils in the hand proper to it. Assuming the OP is American, if you're going to be transfering the utensils between hands anyway, does it really matter which side the utensils are placed?

              1 Reply
              1. re: JungMann

                For a formal table setting, yes, it does matter. As you note, people switch implements in their hands (or they don't).