'Tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and here Miss Conduct nearly forgot! I should be keelhauled. When I was a professor I once tried to given an entire lecture in pirate-speak, which didn't work out entirely successfully but did result in a few memorable lines: "Ye'll get phantom pains from yer pegleg 'cos though yer flesh lies in Davy Jones' locker, still represented in yer sensorymotor cortex it be."
So in honor of the day, let me try translating this paragraph, from the introduction to my beloved 1942 edition of Emily Post's Etiquette, with which I fully agree, into piratespeak. The original:
One is apt to think of Etiquette as being of no more real service to the average citizen than a top hat--something that is of importance to none but brides and diplomats or the newly-rich or persons lately elected to political office. As a matter of fact, there is not a single thing that we do, or say, or choose, or use, or even think, that does not follow (or break) one of the exactions of taste, or tact, or ethics, or good manners, or etiquette--call it what you will.
Ahoy, ye bilge rats: d'ye think as manners is akin to a chest o'doubloons--th'kind o'thing the av'r'ge matey might admire but as does him no real good? Belay that notion! 'Tis not only th' marriageable wenches, th'hornswagglers and cockswains of landlubber society, them as new to booty, as has a need for the finer skills. Arrr! 'Tis you and I, decidin' when to give quarter, when to cut and run, when to attend to the scuttlebutt and when to close our ears, as are usin' manners every day. Yer manners are the sails on yer mizzen, the tar on yer rope, the fig in yer duff. A gentleman of fortune'll go no further without manners than a ship caught in the doldrums. A mate without manners 'tis naught but a ship bilged on its anchor. So learn ye the finer skills, and smartly!
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