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A-harrgh! Shiver me timbers an' blister me barnacles! Get aboard yer good ship Acorn Stairlift and get ye aloft to yonder poop deck as easy as runnin' up the Jolly Roger!

Sorry... don't know what came over me then... except that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yes, it really does exist, and thanks to the internet it has spread around the globe since it was invented as a spoof public holiday way back in 1995. That was in Albany, USA, where originators John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy) thought it would be fun if for one day each year everyone talked like a pirate.

Not just any pirate mind, but the 'patron saint' of Talk Like a Pirate Day, English actor Robert Newton. Born and raised in Dorset and Cornwall, Newton played Long John Silver in two 1950s films and Blackbeard the Pirate in another, his native West Country accent and over-the-top portrayal giving birth to standard 'piratese'.

Like all the best ideas, it started as a joke between friends, with Barr claiming it is the only known 'international day' born as a result of a sport injury. He and Summers were playing racquetball when one of them reacted to sudden pain with a loud and piratical "Aaarrr!" The idea was born and the two friends decided for one day they should talk to each other like pirates, choosing Summers' ex-wife's birthday, September 19th, as it would be easy for him to remember.

Over the next few years more and more friends joined in and then in 2002 American humour columnist Dave Barry heard of it and liked the barmy idea so much that he began promoting the day. Best of all it is just for fun and a hearty yo-ho-ho!

So all ye salty swashbucklers an' proud beauties unleash yer inner seadog and let rip with yer finest buccaneer broadsides till yon sun sets over the yardarm! A-haagh!

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