Are Table Manners Still Important?

Are Table Manners Still Important?

I'm sure most people have run across the person or three who doesn't understand the concept of chewing with their mouth closed. Bits of food are sloshing around in their mouths as they try and recant the story of their day, and then inevitably some flies out in your direction. "Ugh," you recoil, "close your mouth when you eat!"

Are Table Manners Still Important?

Now as surely as I posit that table manners still very much matter, I would add to that statement...to a degree. At least in the US, most restaurant experiences are fairly casual when it comes to utilizing old 19th and early 20th century table etiquette. Not too many people are going to look at you with utter disdain if you happen to use your dinner fork to eat the salad course...and that's if you're even eating some place that actually offers courses, rather then here is your dinner all scrambled together on one plate.

Are Table Manners Still Important?

We just don't really live in a time period in the 21st century where strict table manners matter so much anymore. People have come to the realization that, well, it's just food, and as long as you can basically manage to chew with your mouth closed, keep your elbows off the table, not dribble down your chin, or shoot the shrimp you're trying to eat right off the table, you have obtained some form of recognizable civility.

Are Table Manners Still Important?

Now of course if you move up in society to the upper echelon where formal dinner parties, state dinners, and formal weddings become regular activities in your event calendar, it may behoove you to take an etiquette course so that you may avoid offending the head of state or someone's 90 year old grandmother who grew up being forced to abide by the rules, but for most people, knowing a basic thing or two about proper table etiquette will get you through most if all dinners you will ever have in your life.

I do however think it's important to remember that you shouldn't thumb your nose up at the idea of proper etiquette or table manners when you are a guest of someone else or dining in someone's house because you are a guest, and just like laws of another country, while you are there, you must respect the rules of the establishment or you may find yourself never being invited back.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Maybe at a fine dining establishment but other than that I don't think anybody cares. The waiter won't know any of this at Applebees or Shenanigans LOL

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Most Helpful Girl

  • For the most part, I think it's still important, at least under some circumstances. But the most important thing is to be considerate to others and try to be generally polite, no matter what fork you are using.

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What Guys Said 17

  • They damn well are to me and they should be still used if you ask me. Not much worse than watching a sloppy eater. But to the extent of table settings and proper Tsar etiquette, maybe not so much until you get into fine dining and into the upper echelon aristocratic style dining. Then you are frowned upon without the knowledge and etiquette and demeanor.

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  • Rituals like these are found in other cultures like Japanese. It is very deliberate. But the philosophy of most Americans are going to be that of a very popular internet meme:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLMSf4afzo

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  • F*** yea they are! I got more table manners than my parents and that's scary, I prefer to eat with my mouth closed and not sound like a cow chewing cud. If a gal don't have good table manners I'm sorry but I got better fish to fry. Granted, for me it's more of eat with your mouth closed and no swearing at the table. Elbows can be on the table for all I care, just don't start knocking stuff over

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  • Nobody seems to give a damn about manners or etiquette of ANY kind! I even stopped opening doors for women and pulling out their chairs because I was attacked for it... being told that it was sexist. I just try to use wisdom and feel out the situation.

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  • I wouldn't have rules as hard and fast as some of your examples but I would appreciate some level of decorum at my dinner table and would notice is anyone fell below that.

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  • Of course table manners, in fact manners in general are important. As a side note, different areas have different etiquette, and social norms. Rather than imposing your etiquette upon them, it behooves you as a guest to conform to the local customs.

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  • Busy schedules and the availability of on-the-go foods have reduced the amount of time we spend eating together at the table. But our table habits really do affect our — and our children’s — health.

    Using manners at the table is all about taming impulsivity. And because willpower and self-restraint are recognized predictors of success in life, they’re worth nurturing. Expecting children to control themselves at the dinner table is the right way to begin teaching these skills.

    Thanks for sharing. I appreciate.

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  • Of course not. Manners in generals are not important. So it should go without saying that table manners are not.

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  • What? Do you live in the Victorian era, or something? I ALWAYS stick my elbows on the table and don't give a toss if anyone else does. I just think that as long as no-one offends me and no-one dies, it's been a successful evening...

    Simples...

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  • Some are, others don't. I just think some are boring.

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  • Good manners cost nothing.

    Manners are always important.

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  • Yes I should think so. In my family they always have been

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  • interesting but sadly no one follows table manners anymore :(

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  • it is nice as long it is not overdone

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  • not if your starving

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  • I will eat cheeseburgers like am animal

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  • As they say "Manners market man."

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    • I think you mean Horman's: "Manners maketh man"...

What Girls Said 6

  • WELL DONE, best I've seen even when taking those fun etiquette classes, bonus to ballroom dance classes.

    Got to say what's a foot here is overt evidence of poor parenting so best dump those ASAP if offended for it only gets worse later on.

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  • it makes it easier... and being polite and clean is always nice, but knowing each spoon and fork - not that elemental, to be honest.

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  • Yes. Maybe not elaborate ceremonial type of manners. But there are still rules. You don't see anyone spitting on the table. Taking a shit on the table. Etc.

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  • Yes they are! Table manners are proper etiquette. Who wants to eat around a bunch of slobs? Not me. Respect yourself and others by having manners!

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  • Good table manners are everything

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  • some of them

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