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To help bloggers everywhere celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, in keeping with our annual tradition, we present the Corsair Ergonomic Keyboard for Pirates:

In TLAPD posts from earlier years, you can find instructions for the more difficult task of talking (as opposed to typing) like a pirate; the history of piratical r-fulness; and other goodies: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007.

There's actually some serious historical linguistics (and cultural history) involved here, as discussed in "R!?", 9/19/2005, and "Pirate R as in I-R-ELAND", 9/20/2006. And even a bit of mathematical linguistics.


  1. Sili said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 10:50 am

    My. What a rhotic pirate.

  2. Diário de Leonardo Boiko said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 11:00 am

    […] onde sei, o Modern Pirate é derivado de jargão clássico de marinheiros, mais uma série de convenções fixadas por mídia popular — […]

  3. john said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

    Aye! That needs be engraved on a workman's blouse for next ye-arrrrr!

  4. Tom said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    r =e
    ! =t
    R =a
    rr =o
    r! =i
    rR =n
    !! =s
    !r =h
    !R =r
    RR =d
    R! =l
    Rr =c
    RRR =u
    R!! =m
    R!R =w
    RR! =f
    !!! =g
    !R! =y
    !RR =p
    !!R =b
    RRr =v
    RrR =k
    !!r =j
    !rR =x
    Rr! =q
    rRR =z

    Space between letters = One space
    SPace between words = Two spaces
    Spave between Sentences = Three spaces

    R R!! r! ! !r r rr rR R! !R! rr rR r ! !r R ! RR r! RR ! !r R ! (?)
    Am I the only one that did that?

  5. Tom said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

    Didn't show the double spacing, but whatever.

    [(myl) The WordPress input-processing code is annoying that way. But it doesn't mess with R and !, so you could simply treat those two characters as 0 and 1, and write in binarrry unicode.]

  6. links for 2008-09-19 « Charlottesville Words said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

    […] Language Log » R "To help bloggers everywhere celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, in keeping with our annual tradition, we present the Corsair Ergonomic Keyboard for Pirates…" […]

  7. National ‘Talk Like a Pirate’ Day « … said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

    […] R (Language Log) […]

  8. Emily said,

    September 20, 2008 @ 10:35 am

    I think the "ergonomic" label derives from the fact that the keyboard has disabled access– that is, it can be typed on with a hook-hand. Looks like a sufficiently clever parrot could use it too.

  9. Sili said,

    September 21, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

    Oh dear. Someone used the P-word.

    Now we'll all have to stand in the tea chest to get Pullum in line again.

  10. Alan Shaw said,

    October 1, 2008 @ 12:25 am

    A Newfie joke I picked up when I went there in 1995:
    "Catch any fish today?"
    "No, not a damn thing."

  11. Pflaumbaum said,

    September 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    There was a nice sketch on the BBC a few years ago that touched on pirate grammar. Can't find the audio, but the text is here. Its analysis of the verb system may be a bit ropey for Language Log, but I liked this bit anyway:

    SAILOR: There’s not a man on this ship what knows how to use any tense apart from the present.

    CAPTAIN: That’s cos you’re pirates! And ever since pirates… begins, pirates only speaks in the present tense. First man on this ship as uses the past or pluperfect tense dies where he stands!

    SAILOR: You wouldn’t dare!


    CAPTAIN: Or the conditional.

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