In the news - Good old-fashioned British etiquette falls by the wayside

People in Britain are becoming a rude bunch despite our stereotypical image of being a well-mannered nation, recent research suggests.

In the news: Teaching resources - 12 July

Good old-fashioned British etiquette falls by the wayside


People in Britain are becoming a rude bunch despite our stereotypical image of being a well-mannered nation, recent research suggests.

Things once considered unacceptable at the dinner table, such as holding cutlery in the wrong hand and resting elbows on the table, are now commonplace according to a survey conducted by Birmingham Food Fest. A total of 2,000 adults were asked about their dining habits. Nearly three-quarters admitted to waving knives and forks around between mouthfuls, 62 per cent said they don’t wash their hands before dinner and 82 per cent leave the table halfway through the meal to use the toilet. Modern technology dominates our lives even during mealtimes it seems as 12 per cent of participants also confessed to using their smartphone at the table and 10 per cent use laptops.

Emma Gray, spokeswoman for Birmingham Food Fest, said: “Increasingly busy lifestyles are just one of the factors to be blamed for a decline in table manners, but eating together should always be a good experience for those we are dining with.”

It’s not just the disappearance of refined dining behaviour that the survey reveals. Some participants said tearing off food with their teeth rather than cutting it properly and chewing with their mouths open were also common while eating. Burping, slurping, licking knives and picking food from the teeth were other dinner-time confessions. The research also indicates that a fifth of adults are guilty of passing bad habits on to their children, neglecting to teach them traditional table manners.




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