I've been in journalism, first as a student, then a professional, for more than 40 years now (Ouch! I'm old!) and in that time, the Associated Press Stylebook has become my Bible. Perhaps some day I'll write something about it.
But this time of year, I'm talking about the other AP Stylebook – The Associated Pirates Stylebook.
It's a wee bit shorter than its better known namesake, but on International Talk Like a Pirate Day – every September 19 – it's invaluable.
For instance, the AP Stylebook is adamant on the subject of "Aarrr!" Aarrr is the indispensable pirate growl that has as many meanings as there are ways to say it, with different inflections for piratey delight, anger, disappointment etc. And it is NOT, NOT NOT pronounced or spelled Aarrgh. Aarrr is a pirate affirmation – "I'm here and alive!" Aarrgh is a sound of frustration, pain or disappointment. Aarrgh is the sound you make when you accidentally sit on a belaying pin.
Now, some people, especially Brits and folks on Canada's eastern coast, say "Yarr!" and that's fine. But Aarrgh is definitely NOT alright with pirates.
Aarrr is also a pirate's way of stalling for time, something to say while you're thinking of the correct pirate phrase for something else.Pirates can use "Aarrr" the way a politician used "My fellow Americans."
Cap'n Slappy and I have a video that gives the Five As, the five piratey words that form
the basic starter kit for talking like a pirate. Ahoy, Avast, Aye, Aye aye and Aarrr. Actually, there's more than two dozen of our pirate videos there. Check 'em out.
You can see what amounts to the AP Stylebook online at our Talk Like a Pirate Day website.
There's a long (alright, too long) history of the holiday, a treasure map ofTalk Like a Pirate Day events going on all over the world, and one of the most complete link pages you'll find in the pirate enthusiast community.
So Thursday make sure to swagger and swashbuckle. It's one day a year to exercise your pirattitude (the attitude of a pirate) and let your inner buccaneer out to play.