Ye scurvy bilge rat!
September 19, 2004 8:54 AM   Subscribe

What's a pirate's favorite aspect of computational linguistics? PARRRsing sentences.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate day, me hearties!
posted by louigi (14 comments total)
I'm impressed by this ARRRticle. yar
posted by Evstar at 9:39 AM on September 19, 2004

Avast, ye sea dogs! That account was better than keelhaulin' a lily-livered swabbie. But not as enjoyable as the booty we get from the sweet trade.
posted by mosch at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2004

Join us in a hearty sing-song, won't ye?
posted by rory at 1:06 PM on September 19, 2004

what the hell is the wheel for?
posted by aacheson at 2:00 PM on September 19, 2004


posted by scarabic at 2:15 PM on September 19, 2004

So why DO pirates talk like that, anyway?
posted by konolia at 2:36 PM on September 19, 2004

Just to be geeky, "pirates" don't say "ARRRRR." Robert Newton, the actor who played Long John Silver in the 1950 Walt Disney version of "Treasure Island" originated "ARRRR." No pirate ever said "ARRRR" before him, but after Robert Newton's brilliant portrayal, "ARRRs" became a quick shorthand for all comedic pirate impersonations. Interestingly, around the same time, the mid-century's second great piratical portrayal was being undertaken by Cyril Ritchard, captain Hook in the musical "Peter Pan," a member of the fey, highly cultured villain class, who would not say "ARRR" for all the piece of eight in China.
Newton, who was a respectable actor before originating the "ARRR" part, but went on to milk his Long John Silver character for every thing is was worth in subsequent years -- doing several sequels or prequels to "Treasure Island," and even a Long John Silver TV series (his film "Blackbeard" is terrific and dark, and the pirate, who refuses to mend his ARRRing ways, is put to death in a particularly gruesome manner).
The long and short of it is, that our whole contemporary treasure chest of stale, stale, super-stale pirate cliches, as seen in "The Goonies," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Yellow Beard," "Pirates," "Pyrates," and that unspeakable Steven Spielberg film with Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams, was once fresh, and is the legacy of two brilliant actors, Newton and Ritchard.
But you all know this, I think.
posted by Faze at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2004

While the entire blogoverse seems tickled pink with this little tradition, I can't stand it. This probably stems from my experiences in 2002, when Burning Man decided to have a nautical theme called "The Floating World." While this theme is rich with possibilities for art installations or interactive theme camps, 95% of the participants immediately thought: "I know: PIRATES!" The sheer number of people running around in eye patches yelling "HARR!" grated on my nerves before I'd even touched down at my camp. Pretty much no one picked up on some of the cooler possibilities like coral reefs, shark attacks, buried treasure, etc. Obviously, this is my own neurosis to deal with, but people's proclivity to bellow a bunch of movie cliches and act like louts just doesn't do it for me.

posted by scarabic at 3:26 PM on September 19, 2004

Find out your Pirate name.

I'm Mad John Rackham
posted by geekyguy at 3:50 PM on September 19, 2004

Q: What's a pirate's favorite alliance-creating diplomatic agreement from the Second World War?
A: The TripARRRtite Pact.

Does this mean pirates are objectively pro-fascist?
posted by hincandenza at 4:08 PM on September 19, 2004

A: Aye, 'tis a Nancy-boy he be. Arrr.

McSweeney's is always good for a visit. Nice one! Yar!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:23 PM on September 19, 2004

I like to say parse.

Parse, parse, parse.
posted by weston at 6:44 PM on September 19, 2004

Aaaar, but 'tes worth checkin' out George MacDonald Fraser's The Pyrates, that subverts all they cliches.
posted by raygirvan at 7:56 PM on September 19, 2004

raygirvan -- Seconds on that "Pyrates." A funny, funny book by a one-of-a-kind author.
posted by Faze at 12:22 PM on September 20, 2004

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