faute de frappe love

faute de frappe


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  • (Fr.) Typographical error.

    La frappe is typing (and typescript), but also the act of minting a coin, shooting a (foot)ball or landing a punch — a word of striking, of some force, as you'd need with a behemoth of an old typewriter. Oddly, it also refers to the touch of a pianist: are French pianos built so heavily…?

    May 5, 2008

  • So this has nothing to do with ordering a chocolate milkshake and getting a strawberry one instead?

    May 5, 2008

  • Actually no: French pianos (the Pleyels and Érards) as well as the early Viennese pianos had comparatively light actions, whereas the English Broadwoods were the heavy ones. But nowadays it's one-size-fits-all and every concert pianist wants a Steinway. (Not that these don't vary, but the differences in action are much more subtle than they were in the 18/19th centuries.) It's to do with the touring life: pianists don't have time to get to know a new piano action for every gig*, so the makers have made consistency and conformity a virtue.

    *Krystian Zimerman's solution is to carry his own Steinway action around with him – just the keyboard and hammer mechanism, that is.

    But back to the point: I think it's interesting that frappé in ballet suggests a sharp and precise striking action (e.g. of the foot against the floor in a battement frappé), but not necessarily a heavy action.

    May 5, 2008

  • On ballet: ah, that is true! More subtleties. That is where I first learnt the word frappé, of course.

    May 6, 2008

  • And my first acquaintance with the word occurred on a hot summer day in Paris, when I ordered a refreshingly slushy, icy beverage.

    May 6, 2008

  • I did entertain a wry smile at your joke, rolig :)

    May 6, 2008

  • Thanks, sarra! One has to respect a word that can unite typing, football, piano playing, ballet, and slushy drinks!

    May 6, 2008