The Art of Unix Programming

Andrius Ciziunas andrius at
Sat Feb 8 09:09:23 PST 2003

On Sat, 8 Feb 2003, Justin Knierim wrote:
> Yes, you are right.  I was born in California, and moved to Germany
> around 8 months ago.  Among the very different things, I did notice that
> many people hold knife and fork the whole time, and I think I am strange
> to use one hand.  But I get used to it now, and start to do it the
> European way.  :)

	Heh;>....They only thought it 'strange'?;>  My dad used to say
that you need to know how to eat the European way, because if you don't
and you're with Europeans, you will be considered 'laukinis' (literally, a
wild man;>).....The way Americans eat is only second to yawning, coughing
and sneezing without covering one's mouth as a reason many Europeans
like to say Americans are uncultered and wild.  Loud talking (probably,
among Europeans, one of my biggest faults) is another one, like that....

> > 	Now, let's play a bit of trivia....How many of you know
> > where the American tradition of eating with your right hand
> > and having your left hand in your lap, when not cutting comes from??:)
> No idea, but I would like to know.  :)

	Interesting story (I like small idiosycracies like this one:)
)...During the American Revolution, the Governor of Virginia (or,
maybe former governor, I don't want to make a mistake as to who it
was...But I think it was William Randolph...If someone can find it and
correct me, please do.) was shot in the hand (or arm), so, when he would
eat, he would rest his injured hand in his lap.  The revolutionaries (as
opposed to the pro-British Tories) noticed and, to be different from the
British, they began to pick up the fad.  From then on, Americans cut with
two hands (knife in right, fork in left), eat with their fork in their
right hand (after putting the knife down along the side of their
plate -- Europeans lay the fork and knife across the plate, on
either side...)....And Americans put their left hand in their lap...

	Another thing Americans started to do to be different from the
Brits (and, because, at the time, the Brits controlled the tea
trade)....They started drinking coffee!:)  Without that occurance, some of
you might not be drinking that extra strong espresso, while reading


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