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Why Is Your IT Guy Saying “Argg” Today? 

September 19, 2016

You probably already have trouble understanding your IT guys at times. They talk about things like DHCP, DNS, IP leases and even such obscure references as Honey Pots, cache, cookies, MAL ware, ransomware,  and ARP cache poisoning. If you are like most people, you nod noncommittally and just hope they get your laptop back up and running without asking you to respond. But, at least they are speaking in what you assume is proper English. 

Today, though, you came in to find the IT guys growling at each other and muttering, 

Arrr, me hearties, any Service Tickets not submitted in Pirate-speak will be keelhauled and then forced to walk the plank! 

They are not getting into their Captain Jack Sparrow Halloween costume a month early. They are simply participating in a long and cherished tradition. (Okay, it only goes back to 1995, but since that is before the IT guy was born, so it still counts.) Today, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. 

Yes, it’s a real thing

Michigan and California officially recognize International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Krispy Kreme and Long John Silvers have promotions for customers who come in and talk like a pirate today. 

Google Search and Facebook allow you to select “Pirate” as your language of choice. 

You might wonder how the world ended up with a day devoted to talking like a pirate. It’s not specifically an IT holiday, but it plays directly into the IT habit of adopting obscure references that allow us to keep end users slightly off balance. 

International Talk Like a Pirate Day owes its existence to two friends, John Bauer and Mark Summers. They attribute its introduction to a racquetball game. One of them got injured and cried out “Aaarrr!” and a holiday was born. Actually, they didn’t start out to make it a holiday. They shared the joke among friends. Eventually, it got the attention of some people with national exposure and it sort of took off. 

But, why September 19th? You might think that was the date of the infamous racquetball game. No. The game was played on June 6. However, there’s already a pretty important rememberance on that day and Baer and Summers didn’t want to mix their silly holiday with D-Day remembrances. They needed to pick a new day. They chose September 19th because it was easy for Summers to remember. That is his ex-wife’s birthday. I’m sure the former Mrs Summers appreciates the gesture. Or maybe she doesn’t and that’s part of the reason she is the “ex” Mrs Summers. 

So, start your meetings today with a boistrous “Ahoy, Mateys!” and see how many people answer “Arrr!” 

My only issue with the day is that since it is international Speak Like a Pirate Day, I think we should adopt a foreign accent and say, 

Yes, of course this is a licensed copy of Windows!

That would truly be in the spirit of international piracy.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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