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Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast, Ye Bilge Rats, and Take Heed

Arr! It be September 19, and you lubbers know what that means. Aye, maties: it's Talk Like A Pirate Day, one 'o me favorite holidays. Ye'll see that the Pirate Crew have a book out, their second, apparently. It be named Pirattitude!: So you Wannna Be a Pirate? : Here's How! Arr, I don't need no bleedin' instruction manuals, but if ye do, there's one. Contains an introduction by their close personal mate, Dave "Arr!" Barry.

Who, by the way, has his own blog, and will be observin' the day, like the black-hearted salty dog he is. Start here, blast ye, and page forward through the 19th. Or, er (errrr!), or else!

Now, ye may be thinkin' that there are no pirates these dull days, but ye'd be wrong. Take a squint at the Worldwide Threat to Shipping and the Weekly Piracy Report. Arrr, Weakly Piracy Report, they oughts to call it. Feast your eyes on this nonsense:

08.09.2005 at 2235 UTC in position 17:52.8N - 077:06.2W, Port old harbour, Jamaica.
Four robbers armed with knives and hooks boarded a tanker moored to buoy. Alert crew raised alarm and robbers escaped empty handed in an unlit speedboat.

29.07.2005 at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia.
Four robbers boarded a bulk carrier. Alert crew raised alarm and robbers escaped empty handed.

Did ye ever see such lubberliness in all yer puff? O'course, they don't always get away empty-handed. They usually manages to take "ship's stores", whatever those may be. D'ye suppose the ships are storin' gold 'n silver? Arrr, no, beans 'n bacon more like. Most darin' pirate feat I heared of recently was in Chiny, or there'bouts, where they stole a whole ship full of tin, I b'lieve it was. spit Tin, I asks ye. What be the world come to these days?

This pirate argot be fun, but it's not the Caribbean cruise ye might imagine. It be hard to talk in a true pirate voice, especially for a squeakin' wench, and it be hard to write, and I reckon it's even harder to read. Arr.

In the next week, I hopes, I'll be blatherin' about the days when writers rejoiced in dialect, and the readers could like it or be damned. In plainer speech, I got a heap o' Kipling to tell ye about.

Afore that, though, we got a bad movie to gut and leave fer dead. I'd ha' done it today, but ye don't want to be readin' about coronal mass ejections in pirate talk. Arrr, sounds a bit dirty, don't it?

Until then, be ye recollectin' the wise words of Dr. Clayton Forrester: Look, you bombastic biscuit boy, any more of this faux Dead End Kids patois, and I'll teach you the real meaning of lexiphanicism!