When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

19 September 2005


It be "Talk Like A Pirate Day" today, matey.
Why do we need an International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Make no mistake. We do. But it's a little hard to articulate why, especially when you've made the mistake of referring to your wife as a scurvy bilge rat and tried to order her back into the galley.

Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple.

It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers. The best explanation came from a guy at a Cleveland radio station who interviewed us on the 2002 Talk Like a Pirate Day. He told us we were going to be buried by people asking for interviews because it was a "whimsical alternative" to all the serious things that were making the news so depressing.

In other words, silliness is the holiday's best selling point.
I can certainly get behind that.

Er, um, I mean...

Well done, ye pack of scurvy dogs and bilge rats. Yarrrrrr.

Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19

Update: In the comments section, alert enrevanche reader John deVille offers us today's history lesson in how to talk like a pirate:
I highly recommend Kevin Phillips "Wealth & Democracy" for the art of speaking like a privateer. Seems many early American fortunes were made this way: "I'll be taking your cargo, sir, and then you can be on your way."

I pulled my copy off the shelf and find this line checked: "In the 1790s, fortunes derived from privateering and government finance represented the biggest pot of money in the United States."

I can't find the citation anywhere - either in Phillips or on the web, but I remember reading that NC's first provisional governor who was living in the harbortown of Edenton, made his pile of riches as a privateer.

What's the difference between a privateer and an outright pirate? The former has a "letter of marque" - permission from a government to prey on foreign shipping and the latter does not. Blackbeard was a privateer who had his "license" revoked so he decided to prey on all shipping. NC Governor Eden (perhaps recognizing a kindred spirit) gave him a pardon for his crimes. But Blackbeard persisted, and the governor of Virginia dispatched ships and men to hunt him down, which they did, killing him near Ocracoke.

And that is your lesson for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, ye lubber!

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