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A fork is a utensil used for scooping up and stabbing
foreign dignitaries food.
While the fork was a regular sight at Roman tables as early as the tenth century, it took eight hundred years to reach as far west as Britain.
The fork is a good example of how moral panics have used the same basic arguments for centuries.
There were three common arguments against the use of forks, which often tied in with each other.
The fork was frequently compared with Satan's pitchfork (both of which stemming from the same Latin word, furca) whether for serious reasons or just for satire. Why this logic was never extended to peasants' pitchforks (or the military pole arms derived from them) remains to be seen.
This led to the Elizabethan English writer Thomas Coryat being dubbed "Furcifer" by those who disagreed with his table manners.
Based on Aristotelian teleology, it was also argued that God had already created fingers to fill the very function that forks were now competing for. Thus, forks were seen as an affront to His masterpiece. Again, for some reason this logic was never applied to weapons or other tools.
People who used forks were said to "lack machismo" and were considered flamboyantly effeminate.
"Fork" is also a term for online communities and their projects splitting. Sometimes the issues leading to a fork can be trivial, sometimes they can be fundamental issues about what the project should be about (e.g. should advertisement be accepted). Forks can be friendly and in good nature or result in a state of quasi cold war between the two new communities.
- Template:Fork — the RationalWiki tool for disambiguating similar topics
- Uri Geller — a bender of spoons but his powers are apparently too weak to bend forks
- Michael Strachan, "Coryate, Thomas (c. 1577–1617)", in Literature of Travel and Exploration: an Encyclopedia, 2003, Volume 1, pp.285–87.
- Harry Roolaart, "The Irrational Exhuberance of American Dining Etiquette: Part I", in The Rational Argumentator: A Journal for Western Man, Issue IX.
- Bridget Ann Henisch, Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society (1976), pp.185–186.