Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

How Do YOU Pronounce “Frappe?”

with 6 comments

I ask, because if you’re from McDonald’s, you pronounce it “frap-pay.”

But I’m from New England, it’s pronounced “frap” and it’s basically a milkshake.

I bring this up because I picked up a McD’s frappe on the way in to teach tonight.  Now I’m sitting here watching it get dark, not because it’s late but because there’s a thunderstorm coming, and that’s never good news.

But, this is the last of the summer classes.  Real term starts in a couple of weeks, and I haven’t quit yet.  The simple fact is that my life out here is just too boring without somewhere to go and something to complain about.

Students are always good to complain about, because they almost always deserve it.

That said, somebody asked a while back why I was talking about giving presentations in international settings.  My place has recently launched a brand new course, required for freshmen, the stated purpose of which is teach students how to really listen (and therefore understand what they’re hearing), really read (and therefore understand what they’re reading), and “communicate effectively” on a number of other levels.

And it’s a great idea.  And if this template works, they should copyright it and sell it, because they’ll make a mint.  This is, after all, the holy grail of teaching in the 21st century.

My guess is that it’s going to meet with “uneven” success, and that for two reasons.

For one thing, we don’t really know how to teach that stuff, which is mostly a matter of getting the kid to actually pay attention.  And here’s nothing new here in terms of an understanding of attention spans or the way the brain works.  There are a lot of new exercises, and I’m willing to try–at this point, I’m willing to do nearly anything if it will only help–but I have my doubts.

The other thing, of course, is that like all new programs here, the approach is to write a centralized curriculum that everybody has to follow.  I understand the rationale behind something like that, but in my experience it works out very badly in practice.  For one thing, it tends to make teachers very off-balance–since you can’t react with the instincts you’ve developed, you come off as unsure of what you’re doing, and that’s the death of a class.  The first issue in any class is the authority of the teacher.  If you lose it, nothing ever gets done.

But there’s no reason why I should go with the doom and gloom.  The week-end is almost here.  So…

Try out


I want the t-shirt that says “Toyota–Once You Drive One, You’ll Never Stop.”  There are lots of others. 

They’re not perfect.  There’s one that seems to indicate they’ve fallen in with the “the moon landing was faked” people, but most of it is a very good time.

I also like “Sometimes, a journey that starts with a single step ends very badly.”

And on Arts and Letters Daily today, there’s some news about a new book just published in China in Chinese (with links to an online pirated translation), that makes it pretty clear that the official take of the Chinese government is that the whole global warming thing is a plot invented by Western government to keep emerging nations from expanding and taking over the world economy.

And that’s been my day, and in another few minutes, I have students.

Written by janeh

August 19th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses to 'How Do YOU Pronounce “Frappe?”'

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  1. Well, it’s from the French and should have an accent aigu on the e and should be frap-pay…but in Massachusetts, everyone called it a frap. I’d go with milkshake….



    19 Aug 10 at 5:49 pm

  2. I never took French so don’t ask me!

    The link Jane posted doesn’t work. Try



    19 Aug 10 at 6:14 pm

  3. I like the TOO BIG TO FAIL Tee shirt but I didn’t see any that suggested a fake moon landing.

    The Arts and Letters Daily article was a bit to polemical for my taste. And the thought that the US and EU could engage in a secret conspiracy has me ROFL!

    Both leak like sieves.


    19 Aug 10 at 7:22 pm

  4. I agree–the article is ridiculously polemnical. But the FACT of that book in China is still an interesting thing.

    Not that I didn’t suspect, mind you.

    But still.


    19 Aug 10 at 7:31 pm

  5. Only know Frappe as an old set of miniatures rules–always pronounced frap-pay.

    My greatest treasure from Despair.com is a poster, kept where I see it getting up every morning: a tree, blown by wind until is is bent almost 90 degrees and the caption ADVERSITY; THAT WHICH DOES NOT DESTROY ME POSTPONES THE INEVITABLE.

    As for global warming, the limit on the number of persons who can keep a particular secret was identified by Ben Franklin. But try it another way: Could our ruling class and its tame scientists agree on something that was not true, and insist that it was? That happens right along. I don’t think our present crowd is doing such a thing to discourage Third World industrialization–but they’d be quite capable of it because they disliked industrialization generally.


    20 Aug 10 at 3:43 pm

  6. I don’t pronounce ‘frappe’ at all in English, since it’s not part of my vocabulary. I’d give it the French pronunciation fra-pay.

    I hope you had good luck with the thunderstorm – I’d taken a week off work for relative’s visits, a wedding and a holiday for me. I came home from shopping Wednesday (I think it was; the days are blurring together)to find no phone service and the computer not working. There’d been a massive lightning strike in my neighbourhood that melted the phone and cable lines (I think the technical term is ‘fried’). I don’t have cable (thank God because I won a very nice TV in a contest) and I only lost a phone, three jacks, my modem (but not the computer itself) and, as I discovered this morning, the answering machine. I seem to have spent days waiting for repairmen and carting the computer around, because initially I thought the power supply had gone, not the modem, and when I found out what it was, well, I use dialup and not many people sell dialup modems nowadays. At that point, at least, I wasn’t carrying around the computer itself, just the new modem – which is now working! The biggest church in town, a massive edifice, also got hit hard enough to shake, set off all the fire alarms, and terrify everyone inside and cause complaints that the lightning rods weren’t working – I suspect they were, and the towers wouldn’t have remained intact if the rods hadn’t been there. The church was fine twenty-four hours later, when the wedding went ahead as scheduled, and went well!

    We rarely get thunderstorms, and when we do, they usually aren’t bad. There wasn’t much rain with this one – just the usual rumbling of thunder in the distance, then one almighty crash (I was miles away, but everyone stopped and stared, startled), then nothing. People who were home at the time apparently said the associated lightning was extraordinarily bright.


    21 Aug 10 at 7:49 am

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