full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Anna Post: How to set the table

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Have you ever helped set a table and found yourself wondering where to place the forks? Or sat down to eat a restaurant and wondered which utensils to use? Well, here's some simple, traditional etiquette tips on how to set a table. What would happen if you set a table like this? It doesn't look good, and you have to clean up the mess before you can even start. Let's try another way. To start, use a pmelcaat or tablecloth, but not both, so the dishes aren't directly on the table. This is more about looks than etiquette, but it's rare to see nothing under a plate unless you're eating at a picnic table. Set out any flowers, candlesticks, or other decorations you like. cldenas are usually only lit at night. Start with utensils for the main course, ptnuitg your dinner fork on the left and your dinner knife on the right-hand side since these are the hands we use them with. Here's a helpful tip: You always eat outside-in, so to set for salad, we'll put the salad fork to the outside of the dinner fork and the salad knife to the outside of the dinner knife. We'll have salad first, then our main course. Notice, too, that the knife bdelas are both pointed toward the palte. This is an old tdioatrin from a time when dnienr knives were quite srhap, and it was a sign of politeness and nonaggression to keep them pointed away from other dneirs. We might have some soup, and since soup usually comes first, the soup spoon goes outside the knives since we use our right hand to hold it. Here's another tip: Only set the table with what you'll need. If you're not eiatng soup, don't set a soup spoon. Now, for dessert, we'll have ice cream so we'll place the desrset up top since we don't need it for a little while. Notice that the bowl of the spool is pointing to the left. This way, when it's time to eat, you just slide it down and it's in the right spot. If you were having cake, you'd set a fork and flip it 180 degrees so it would be right side-up on the left instead. Next we'll aonchr our setting with the plate. You can also serve from the kitchen then bring them to the tlabe. The bread plate goes up and to the left of the sntietg, and the betutr kfnie goes on the plate at an alnge, again, with the blade pinitong in. There's only one spot left, and that's for the drinks. Set the wine glass to the upepr right, and then place the water glass to the left of it at an angle. If you're like me and can never remember which goes where, think water, wine, w-a, w-i; a, i; they go left to right in alphabetical oedrr. Another tip: To remember left and right with the bread and the drinks, think B-M-W like the car. B, your bread plate, is on the left; M, your meal, is in the mdldie, and W, your weatr, is on the right. Lastly, the nkaipn traditionally goes to the left of the forks, though it's okay to put it underneath them, too. For a fancier meal like this one that takes up a lot of space, we'll put it in the middle. Now we're ready to eat. Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you're asked to help set the table or sit down at a fancy meal. Enjoy!

Open Cloze

Have you ever helped set a table and found yourself wondering where to place the forks? Or sat down to eat a restaurant and wondered which utensils to use? Well, here's some simple, traditional etiquette tips on how to set a table. What would happen if you set a table like this? It doesn't look good, and you have to clean up the mess before you can even start. Let's try another way. To start, use a ________ or tablecloth, but not both, so the dishes aren't directly on the table. This is more about looks than etiquette, but it's rare to see nothing under a plate unless you're eating at a picnic table. Set out any flowers, candlesticks, or other decorations you like. _______ are usually only lit at night. Start with utensils for the main course, _______ your dinner fork on the left and your dinner knife on the right-hand side since these are the hands we use them with. Here's a helpful tip: You always eat outside-in, so to set for salad, we'll put the salad fork to the outside of the dinner fork and the salad knife to the outside of the dinner knife. We'll have salad first, then our main course. Notice, too, that the knife ______ are both pointed toward the _____. This is an old _________ from a time when ______ knives were quite _____, and it was a sign of politeness and nonaggression to keep them pointed away from other ______. We might have some soup, and since soup usually comes first, the soup spoon goes outside the knives since we use our right hand to hold it. Here's another tip: Only set the table with what you'll need. If you're not ______ soup, don't set a soup spoon. Now, for dessert, we'll have ice cream so we'll place the _______ up top since we don't need it for a little while. Notice that the bowl of the spool is pointing to the left. This way, when it's time to eat, you just slide it down and it's in the right spot. If you were having cake, you'd set a fork and flip it 180 degrees so it would be right side-up on the left instead. Next we'll ______ our setting with the plate. You can also serve from the kitchen then bring them to the _____. The bread plate goes up and to the left of the _______, and the ______ _____ goes on the plate at an _____, again, with the blade ________ in. There's only one spot left, and that's for the drinks. Set the wine glass to the _____ right, and then place the water glass to the left of it at an angle. If you're like me and can never remember which goes where, think water, wine, w-a, w-i; a, i; they go left to right in alphabetical _____. Another tip: To remember left and right with the bread and the drinks, think B-M-W like the car. B, your bread plate, is on the left; M, your meal, is in the ______, and W, your _____, is on the right. Lastly, the ______ traditionally goes to the left of the forks, though it's okay to put it underneath them, too. For a fancier meal like this one that takes up a lot of space, we'll put it in the middle. Now we're ready to eat. Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you're asked to help set the table or sit down at a fancy meal. Enjoy!

Solution

  1. setting
  2. table
  3. pointing
  4. butter
  5. dessert
  6. tradition
  7. upper
  8. dinner
  9. diners
  10. putting
  11. angle
  12. water
  13. plate
  14. candles
  15. eating
  16. placemat
  17. anchor
  18. napkin
  19. order
  20. middle
  21. blades
  22. sharp
  23. knife

Original Text

Have you ever helped set a table and found yourself wondering where to place the forks? Or sat down to eat a restaurant and wondered which utensils to use? Well, here's some simple, traditional etiquette tips on how to set a table. What would happen if you set a table like this? It doesn't look good, and you have to clean up the mess before you can even start. Let's try another way. To start, use a placemat or tablecloth, but not both, so the dishes aren't directly on the table. This is more about looks than etiquette, but it's rare to see nothing under a plate unless you're eating at a picnic table. Set out any flowers, candlesticks, or other decorations you like. Candles are usually only lit at night. Start with utensils for the main course, putting your dinner fork on the left and your dinner knife on the right-hand side since these are the hands we use them with. Here's a helpful tip: You always eat outside-in, so to set for salad, we'll put the salad fork to the outside of the dinner fork and the salad knife to the outside of the dinner knife. We'll have salad first, then our main course. Notice, too, that the knife blades are both pointed toward the plate. This is an old tradition from a time when dinner knives were quite sharp, and it was a sign of politeness and nonaggression to keep them pointed away from other diners. We might have some soup, and since soup usually comes first, the soup spoon goes outside the knives since we use our right hand to hold it. Here's another tip: Only set the table with what you'll need. If you're not eating soup, don't set a soup spoon. Now, for dessert, we'll have ice cream so we'll place the dessert up top since we don't need it for a little while. Notice that the bowl of the spool is pointing to the left. This way, when it's time to eat, you just slide it down and it's in the right spot. If you were having cake, you'd set a fork and flip it 180 degrees so it would be right side-up on the left instead. Next we'll anchor our setting with the plate. You can also serve from the kitchen then bring them to the table. The bread plate goes up and to the left of the setting, and the butter knife goes on the plate at an angle, again, with the blade pointing in. There's only one spot left, and that's for the drinks. Set the wine glass to the upper right, and then place the water glass to the left of it at an angle. If you're like me and can never remember which goes where, think water, wine, w-a, w-i; a, i; they go left to right in alphabetical order. Another tip: To remember left and right with the bread and the drinks, think B-M-W like the car. B, your bread plate, is on the left; M, your meal, is in the middle, and W, your water, is on the right. Lastly, the napkin traditionally goes to the left of the forks, though it's okay to put it underneath them, too. For a fancier meal like this one that takes up a lot of space, we'll put it in the middle. Now we're ready to eat. Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you're asked to help set the table or sit down at a fancy meal. Enjoy!

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
dinner fork 2
dinner knife 2
soup spoon 2

Important Words

  1. alphabetical
  2. anchor
  3. angle
  4. asked
  5. blade
  6. blades
  7. bowl
  8. bread
  9. bring
  10. butter
  11. cake
  12. candles
  13. candlesticks
  14. car
  15. clean
  16. cream
  17. decorations
  18. degrees
  19. dessert
  20. diners
  21. dinner
  22. dishes
  23. drinks
  24. eat
  25. eating
  26. etiquette
  27. fancier
  28. fancy
  29. flip
  30. flowers
  31. fork
  32. forks
  33. glass
  34. good
  35. hand
  36. hands
  37. happen
  38. helped
  39. helpful
  40. hold
  41. ice
  42. kitchen
  43. knife
  44. knives
  45. lastly
  46. left
  47. lit
  48. lot
  49. main
  50. meal
  51. mess
  52. middle
  53. napkin
  54. night
  55. nonaggression
  56. notice
  57. order
  58. picnic
  59. place
  60. placemat
  61. plate
  62. pointed
  63. pointing
  64. politeness
  65. put
  66. putting
  67. rare
  68. ready
  69. remember
  70. restaurant
  71. salad
  72. sat
  73. serve
  74. set
  75. setting
  76. sharp
  77. side
  78. sign
  79. simple
  80. sit
  81. slide
  82. soup
  83. space
  84. spool
  85. spoon
  86. spot
  87. start
  88. table
  89. tablecloth
  90. takes
  91. time
  92. tips
  93. top
  94. tradition
  95. traditional
  96. traditionally
  97. upper
  98. utensils
  99. water
  100. wine
  101. wondered
  102. wondering