Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk like a pirate day

Avast me hearties! It's that time of year again as across the globe, ordinary people will spend Wednesday conversing in the manner of a pirate, in a glorious celebration of all things piratical.

Talk Like A Pirate Day started in 1995, when two friends from the American colonies, John Baur and Mark Summers, decided that talking like a pirate was excellent and that it deserved its own day. September 19 was settled on as the ideal day, because it was Summers' ex-wife's birthday.

For quite some time, Talk Like A Pirate day was a rather private celebration, with only Baur and Summers (or Ol' Chum Bucket and Cap'n Slappy, to give them their proper pirate names) observing it. That all changed in 2002, when they decided to let American humour columnist Dave Barry know about their annual observation.

Barry was quite jiggered by the idea, and promptly spread the word through his column. From that point, thanks to the power of the internet and the innate awesomeness of pirates, Talk Like A Pirate Day spread internationally.

Now, ITLAPD has become a phenomenon around the world – helped, no doubt, by the resurgence of interest in talking like a pirate that Johnny Depp sparked. But remember – the pirate lingo of Talk Like A Pirate Day is a very traditional form, often at odds with Depp's flamboyant characterisation. In fact, if you're looking for a good model to base your pirate idioms on, Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa is probably a better bet.

No comments: