It's National Etiquette Week, and since I have consulted in that area for almost 30 years (gulp!), I will share with you three interesting facts....
1. Believe it or not, teaspoons are not set on the table in a proper ("formal") place setting. A soup spoon may be placed to the right of the plate, as may a dessert spoon (which can also go above the plate). A teaspoon is brought in with the cup and saucer. If you are serving tea or coffee with any meal and the cup and saucer are on the table, the spoon goes in the saucer, beside the cup.
2. R.s.v.p., which is an abbreviation for "Please respond" in French, already contains "please"....that's the s.v.p. part....so never say "R.s.v.p. please." Also, if you choose to spell it out completely, the first word is "Repondez," which means respond. One of the most common mistakes here is people thinking the word is "Respondez" with an "s." (The entire thing is: "Repondez s'il vous plait.")
3. Asparagus may be eaten with the fingers! I know....it's odd, but true.....check it out in Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers.
In celebration of etiquette week, write a personal note to a friend, have dinner with the family with the table beautifully set, or have your children practice making introductions between people. Etiquette makes the world go round!!