DEAR MISS MANNERS: Older carving sets have a folding clip on the fork, attached just below the handle. I am in my second decade of asking people what it's for. I hear all sorts of really silly guesses, some offered in a positive tone:
"Oh, that's to rest the fork on so it doesn't soil the tablecloth."
"This way ... (fork falls over) ... no, like this ... (fork falls over) ... OK, I guess it's for something else."
I have never heard a workable nor even plausible explanation. Do you know? Will you tell us?
GENTLE READER: If you insist, although Miss Manners hates to quash the hilarious routine that you describe. It is to prevent the fork from sinking too deeply into over-cooked meat.