William “Black Bill” Cubbins IV, our regular commentator on pirate affairs, is pirate-in-residence at the University of Plunder Bay as well as executive director of UPB’s William Kidd Center for the Study of Pirate Culture. A devout pirate, his most recent prize was a Chinese junk full of junk food bound for snooty Californian importers.

Ahoy me hearties. On this, the most visible day for pirate culture, I’d like to issue a call to reason. Talk Like A Pirate Day is an opportunity to engage with pirate culture, but also an occasion for flouting hurtful pirate stereotypes. I’d like to share these simple tips with you:

-Remember, pirates are a culture, not a costume. It is never okay to dress as a pirate or, god forbid, a “sexy pirate” unless you identify with pirate culture.

-Slurs like ass pirate or widely discredited defamatory texts like Protocols of the Elder Pirates are never something that a pirate would use in daily conversation. Terms like buccanner or corsair are still controversial; the one thing everyone agrees on is that only pirates can decide when they are appropriate and that only pirates should use them.

-Pirates have many dialects. Try speaking the South China Sea or the Horn of Africa dialects of pirate to help educate people on our diversity and rich cultural heritage.

-Keep in mind the many pirates killed or wounded by vicious ninja attacks during this summer’s tragic Battle of Kagishuma Shrine Island. There are still many places in the world where ninjas actively seek the extermination of us and our way of life.

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