In a re-run of a re-run of Doc Martin, the British comedy series, Martin, having decided he'll take the plunge with headmistress Louisa, invites her to a dinner for two in his kitchen. He's looking glum. I noticed (he must have noticed, hence the glum face) that Louisa is a HKLP. He is possibly contemplating the future ramifications of this.
There are web-sites and Facebook sites on the phenominum of the HKLP - which stands for, quite simply, Holds Knife Like Pen.
Why wasn't there someone on the set who could have guided Caroline Catz (Louisa)? But then people of a certain age do hold pens and pencils in a funny way, a claw-like grasp.
Now you might be a rugged individualist who holds that you can do what you want with your knife and fork. Fine, I agree with you, but it will say something about you (that you might not like).
On another level, indications are that Prince Harry will marry Meghan. (I’ve been a bit hooked on “Suits” - Netflix - wherein I’ve noted the very complex tailoring of the frocks and Meghan’s incredible skinny shins). The New York Post (October, 2017) asked around for comments from various professional “royal” writers and observers.
They report that Prince Harry has been Meghan’s main mentor in all things royal and she is “studying hard” to fit into the lifestyle. "American manners are different than (sic) British manners. One can’t walk down the street eating or chewing gum. Markle will even have to correct her table manners. We hold our cutlery differently. It’s a whole different culture.”
Manners and etiquette? Manners are nothing more than decency and consideration. (Punctuality - you consider someone-else's time as important as yours. Chewing with your mouth closed hides a nauseating mash.) Etiquette is more complex and variable, adhering to certain rituals which none the less are based, most often, on making interaction more pleasant.
Do we guide children to put their best face forward or just abandon them to their boxed pineapple pizzas and their pot noodles?