Which is to say that we don’t say:
As soon as you sit down you own the napkin. Napkins are for wiping your mouth, not for mopping your brow or blowing your nose. A napkin is linen. Serviette is an American term for paper napkins,’ he explains. [From The Telegraph – UK]
Well, you really do learn something new every day… I’m an American who comes from a long line of Americans and I never once heard a paper napkin referred to as anything but, well, a paper napkin. I wish someone had clued me in earlier that I was supposed to call the damned thing a serviette!
The above quote comes from a general article on teaching young adults manners which, for some odd reason, is of interest to me. I think it’s because I die a little inside when I drop 100 bucks at the grocery store and the sixteen year old at the register doesn’t say “thank you” when s/he hands me my receipt.
I really am a curmudgeon…