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by Abigail Van Buren

Spilling Virtual Beans Lands Surprised Friend in Hot Water

DEAR ABBY: Can you tell me the proper way to place your knife and fork after you finish eating? I was taught to turn my fork over at the 4 o'clock position and the knife just to the left of the fork. I fold my napkin and place it to the left when dinner has been completed.

Am I old-fashioned? -- GERRY IN SUGAR LAND, TEXAS

DEAR GERRY: No. You're practicing proper table etiquette. According to "Emily Post's Etiquette," at the end of the course the knife and fork should be "laid diagonally across the plate" in the position you have described, and "the knife blade faces inward, but the fork tines can be either up or down."