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article imageSept. 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 19, 2010 in World
It may be a holiday that very few people have heard of, but September 19 actually is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
The origins of the celebration began in 1995, when two Americans, John Baur and Mark Summers, were playing racquetball.
“On this day, for reasons we still don't quite understand, we started giving our encouragement in pirate slang,” he explains on the International Talk Like a Pirate Day web site].
By the time their hour on the court was over, they realized that using pirate lingo had made the game more fun. They decided then that a holiday called Talk Like A Pirate Day was needed.
“First, we needed a date for the holiday,” John said. “Mark came up with September 19. That was, and is, his ex-wife's birthday, and the only date he could readily recall that wasn't taken up with something like Christmas or the Super Bowl or something. We also decided -- right then and there on the court on June 6, 1995 -- that the perfect spokesman for our new holiday was none other than Dave Barry himself, nationally syndicated humor columnist and winner of the Pulitzer by-God Prize. So, naturally, we forgot all about it.”
For the next seven years the two men, and their friend Brian Rhodes, were the only ones to pay much attention to International Talk Like a Pirate Day – and sometimes they forgot about it.
Things changed one day in 2002 when John came across Dave Barry's e-mail address.
“We reasoned that Dave would be able to bring attention to Talk Like A Pirate Day in a way that Mark and John (and Brian) wouldn't be able to if we lived to be 200,” said John. “Ambition suddenly burned bright, and sending e-mails is a very easy thing to do. Which is why we finally got around to contacting him.”
They offered him the chance to be official national spokesman for the special day, and a few days later they got a reply. He thought it was a great idea.
Later, John got a phone call from the feature editor at the local paper, who knew him. She had been editing that week’s Dave Barry column, which was about Talk Like a Pirate Day.
The idea grew quickly after that. The men were interviewed on radio and information on the event quickly spread across the internet.
The web site states that the men realize that real-life pirates were “bad people” and should not be emulated – International Talk Like a Pirate Day is just light hearted and fun.
“Silliness is the holiday's best selling point,” the men add.
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