DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are debating the use of a spoon during dinner (not for soup or dessert). We often have rice as a side dish, or mixed vegetables. He uses a spoon to eat it! Not to push onto a fork (as is etiquette), but to eat from the spoon like a shovel! He is teaching my 4-year-old to do the same thing.
I maintain the spoon or knife can be used to push the food onto the fork, but may not be eaten directly from the spoon. Which is the right protocol?
GENTLE READER: Are you sure it is not the 4-year-old who is teaching him?
Or perhaps, depending on how old your husband is, he is remembering a time before the widespread use of the fork, when most people ate with spoons. That was in the early 19th century, after which the spoon was banished from the main course.
In any case, both of them are now old enough to eat with a fork.