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International Talk Like a Pirate Day


International Talk Like a Pirate Day


By: Lanie Tunnell

I remember when I first got a Facebook and logged in on September 19. I was prompted with a message at the top of my screen asking me if I wanted to change my “language setting” to “Pirate” for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD). Many years later, I no longer needed a designated day to talk like a pirate because, as a student at Southwestern, I am technically talking like (or at least as) a pirate every day. However, the average person doesn’t usually have the opportunity to run around as an official pirate. Luckily for them, the 19 of September every year is officially “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”.

The first ITLAPD was created on June 6, 1995 by John Baur (“Ol’ Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (“Cap’n Slappy”). One day, these two matey’s  were playing racquetball when one of them got hurt and yelled “Argggg!”. Baur and Summers thought there should be a day where  people dress up and speak like pirates. The two friends changed the date of the celebration out of respect for the observance of the Normandy Landings and decided to use September 19, for that was the birthday of Summer’s ex-wife (I wonder who made who walk the plank); therefore, it would be easy to remember.

In 2002, the two men sent in the idea to the columnist Dave Barry, a well-known humor columnist. Barry‘s coverage of the holliday went viral, and soon people were catching the pirate fever (like the plague, but more fun).  

Today, the event is celebrated all over not only for fun, but also to raise money for charity organizations such as Marie Cure Cancer Care and Childhood Cancer Support (what a great way to gather some extra gold doubloons!). Now that you’ve earned your educational sea legs, make sure to get out, dress up, and talk like a pirate next September. Maybe you’ll even find buried treasure!