Who really needs a fork?

My mother has been reading David Freeman Hawke’s Everyday Life in Early America. Here’s a quote she shared with me:

Spoons were the essential utensil at the table. Knives, if they turned up, were pointed and used to spear food from the common serving dish. Forks did not appear until the eighteenth century. There were those who held that forks were “a diabolical luxury,” and that “God would not have given us fingers if He had wished us to use such an instrument.”

It’s funny how resistant people are to change, even to something beneficial and fairly harmless like a fork. Instead, people often resort to defending the status quo as being better (whether or not it actually is) or evoking a deity to defend their position (even if this leads to fairly preposterous ad hoc arguments).


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