Classifying Sporks, Spifes, and Knorks…

How do you clas­sify eat­ing uten­sils and odd hybrids like sporks (spoon-​fork), spifes (spoon-​knife), knorks (knife-​fork), sporfs and splayds(spoon-fork-knife)?

One way is to clas­sify by uten­sil and com­bi­na­tion of utensils:

  • Fork: semi to solid foods
  • Spoon: liq­uids to semi-​solid foods
  • Knife — solid foods (for preparation)
  • Spork: Fork-​Spoon - liq­uids to solid foods
  • Knork: Fork-​knife– semi-​to solid foods (includ­ing cutting)
  • Spife: Spoon-​knife — liq­uids to solid foods (cutting)
  • Splayd: Fork-​spoon-​knife — liq­uids to semi-​solid to solid foods

Another way to dia­gram this is by food type and utensil:

This sec­ond dia­gram bet­ter shows the scope of what hap­pens when uten­sils are com­bined: while spoon has the largest extent (liq­uids to semi-​solid foods), com­bin­ing it with a fork (spork) results in low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor appli­ca­tion, while com­bin­ing with a knife (spife) results in even more restricted use (cut­ting and scoop­ing kiwi fruit, for exam­ple). Com­bin­ing a knife and fork results in a seem­ingly restricted usage, with mar­ginal util­ity over a knife alone.

Cat­e­go­riz­ing also helps under­stand poten­tial impact of new prod­uct fea­tures — how does com­bin­ing uten­sils help the cus­tomer? For campers, it might mean fewer things to pack using a spork. For kiwi grow­ers, it’s a con­ve­nient way to cut open and eat prod­ucts (Zespri, a New Zealand based grower includes a spife in every case of kiwis). But other com­bi­na­tions (knorks) seem to have mar­ginal util­ity and appeal and may actu­ally func­tion less well than indi­vid­ual fork and knife.

Check out my Pin­ter­est board on the var­i­ous eat­ing uten­sil combinations.

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