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International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Talk Like a Pirate Day.png
Type Parodic
Date September 19
Next time September 19, 2023  ( 2023-09 )
Frequency Annual

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon , [1] who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate . [2] An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello, everyone!" but with " Ahoy , maties!" or "Ahoy, me hearties!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy .

History [ edit ]

"Cap'n Slappy" and "Ol' Chumbucket", the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day

According to Summers, the day is the only known holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. During a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of "Aaarrr!", and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings , they chose Summers' ex-wife's birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember. [1] [3]

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. [4] Barry liked the idea and promoted the day, [4] and later appeared in a cameo in their "Drunken Sailor" Sing Along A-Go-Go video. [5] Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry's column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website.

At least three songs have been written about Talk Like a Pirate Day. Michigan filk musician Tom Smith wrote the original "Talk Like a Pirate Day" song on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2003. [6] [7] [8] Later, inspired by the coincidence that September 19 is Hermione Granger 's birthday, [9] Smith wrote "Hey, It's Can(n)on," in which Granger becomes a pirate queen after she discovers that her birthday falls on Talk Like a Pirate Day. [10] Tom Mason and John Baur wrote "Talk Like a Pirate," performed by Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers. [11]

Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attributed to non-restriction or the idea of non-trademarking, in effect opening the holiday to creativity and "viral" growth. [12] For example, entertainer Tom Scott became the United Kingdom's first official organizer as "Mad Cap'n Tom", [13] [14] before the day was picked up by charities such as Marie Curie . [15]

The association of pirates with peglegs , parrots , and treasure maps , popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson 's novel Treasure Island (1883), has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture. [16] Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated with hidden easter egg features in many games and websites, [17] with Facebook introducing a pirate-translated version of its website on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 [18] and publisher O'Reilly discounting books on the R programming language to celebrate. [19] In September 2014, Reddit added a pirate theme to their website. [20]

Linguistic background [ edit ]

English actor Robert Newton is the " patron saint " of Talk Like a Pirate Day. [1] He portrayed pirates in several films, most notably Long John Silver in both the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver , and the title character in the 1952 film Blackbeard the Pirate . [21] Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Cornwall , and it was his native West Country dialect , which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard , that some contend is the origin of the standard "pirate accent". However, many English sailors came traditionally from the West Country where the accent is prevalent. When James I outlawed the piratical practices of the Royal Navy in 1609, some crews fled to the Caribbean to continue the practice, taking their accents with them. [22] This was parodied in the 1950s and 1960s by British comedian Tony Hancock . [23]

The archetypal pirate word "Arrr!" (alternatively "Rrrr!" or "Yarrr!"), which in West Country parlance means "yes", [24] first appeared in fiction as early as 1934 in the film Treasure Island starring Lionel Barrymore , [23] and was used by a character in the 1940 novel Adam Penfeather, Buccaneer by Jeffery Farnol . [23] However, it was Robert Newton's use of it in the classic 1950 Disney film Treasure Island that popularized the interjection and made it widely remembered. It has been speculated that rhoticity (pronouncing the letter r essentially everywhere it appears), a distinctive element of the speech of the West Country of England, has been associated with pirates because of the West Country's strong maritime heritage, where for many centuries fishing was the main industry (and smuggling a major unofficial one), and where there were several major ports. As a result, West Country speech in general, and Cornish speech in particular, may have been a major influence on a generalized British nautical speech. [25]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c Baker, Mark (September 19, 2003). "Avast! No lubbers today, ye scurvy bilge rats!" . The Register-Guard . Retrieved September 25, 2014 .
  2. ^ The Original Talk Like A Pirate Day Web site Archived November 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine , by John Baur and Mark Summers.
  3. ^ "September 19, 2007" . The KBIM Pat & Brian Show . Orange, California. September 19, 2007. 40 minutes in. Beyond Investigation Magazine . KBIM Webcast.
  4. ^ a b Barry, Dave (September 8, 2002). "Arrrrr! Talk like a pirate – or prepare to be boarded" . Miami Herald .
  5. ^ YouTube "Drunken Sailor: First Annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day Drunken Sailor Sing-Along a Go Go" September 11, 2011 (@ 3:25). Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Talk Like a Pirate Day" (MP3) .
  7. ^ Paul Majendie (September 18, 2007). "Tomorrow You'll Pay a Buccaneer for Corn?" . Reuters . Retrieved September 21, 2007 .
  8. ^ "Arrr Matie! Wednesday is Talk Like A Pirate Day" . Ann Arbor News . Michigan Live , LLC. September 18, 2007 . Retrieved September 21, 2007 .
  9. ^ Rowling, J.K. "Section:Extra Stuff — Hermione Granger" . J.K. Rowling Official Site. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008 . Retrieved September 19, 2008 .
  10. ^ "Hey, It's Can(n)on – [Hermione Granger the Pirate Queen]" . YouTube . Archived from the original on December 15, 2021.
  11. ^ Baur, John; Summers, Mark. "Everything Else" .
  12. ^ Interview with the Founders Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine , Andrew Warner, Sept. 19. 2008.
  13. ^ "Talk Like A Pirate Day UK Headquarters" . www.yarr.org.uk . Retrieved September 18, 2018 .
  14. ^ Grimshaw, Gerran (March 10, 2008). " 'Pirate' becomes new student union president" . York Press . Archived from the original on October 5, 2012 . Retrieved January 16, 2012 .
  15. ^ "Linthorpe children hold pirate day for Marie Curie" . TeessideLive . September 26, 2010 . Retrieved September 19, 2020 .
  16. ^ Cordingly, David (1995). Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates . ISBN   0-679-42560-8 .
  17. ^ "12seconds wants everyone to talk like a pirate; more invites for all" . VentureBeat. September 19, 2008 . Retrieved September 20, 2012 .
  18. ^ Siegler, MG (September 19, 2009). "Once Again, Facebook Owns 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' On The Web" . TechCrunch . Retrieved September 20, 2012 .
  19. ^ "Avast, Ye Mateys! Hoist Yer Colors for Talk Like a Pirate Day!" . O'Reilly Media . Retrieved September 19, 2013 .
  20. ^ "Reddit get into Talk Like a Pirate Day spirit" . Network World. September 19, 2012 . Retrieved September 19, 2013 .
  21. ^ "Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)" . IMDb. June 29, 1953.
  22. ^ Parry, Dan (2006). Blackbeard: The Real Pirate of the Caribbean . National Maritime Museum. p. 174.
  23. ^ a b c Bonanos, Christopher (June 5, 2007). "Did Pirates Really Say "Arrrr"? The origin of Hollywood's high-seas slang" . Slate . Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Co . Retrieved September 16, 2007 .
  24. ^ Robinson, Matthew (September 19, 2013). "Ahoy, matey! Is the pirate life for you?" . The Vancouver Sun . Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Author interviews Molly Babel, a linguist. Babel: "Speakers of the regional dialect tend to emphasize their r's, unlike other British regions, said Babel. They tend to replace the verbs 'is' and 'are' with 'be', and indeed, use the word 'arrr' in place of 'yes'."
  25. ^ "R!?" . Language log , September 19, 2005.

Further reading [ edit ]

  • Harland, John (1984). Seamanship in the Age of Sail . Provides a detailed account of the language used by seamen during the age of sail. ISBN   0-87021-955-3
  • Russell, William Clark (1883). Sailors' Language . Dictionary of 19th-century sailors' language.
  • Choundas, George. 2007. The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues. Cincinnati: Writers Digest.

External links [ edit ]