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Thursday, November 27, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Minding Your Manners

It's the biggest eating day of the year. True, you'll likely be dining with people you love, or at least, only mildly loathe. But we don't want you to forget your manners. Here's a reminder of the top 10 etiquette mistakes in dining:

1: Speaking with food in your mouth.

2: Holding the knife like a dagger or the fork like a cello and putting cutlery, once used, back on the table.

3: Putting purses, keys, gloves, etc., on the table.

4: Finishing your meal before or after everyone else.

5: Flapping the napkin to open it and putting it on the table before the meal has ended.

6: Slouching, squirming or tilting your chair.

7: Picking or poking at your teeth.

8: Leaving lipstick smears.

9: Smoking - wait until the meal is over (and, please, do not use your plate as an ashtray)

10: Buttering all the bread at once - tear off each piece and butter it before you eat it.

From "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette," by Mary Mitchell (Alpha Books).

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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