NEW YORK—It is incredible to think that a silly idea of a parody pirate holiday during a racquetball game between two friends in 1995 would spiral into a worldwide phenomenon. But that is how "Talk Like a Pirate Day" came to being.
The concept for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" was apparently born when John Baur and Mark Summers, both residents of Albany, Oregon, were playing racquetball on June 6, 1995.
Their idea for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" was pretty simple. For one full day everyone would talk in "pirate speak," such as saying "Ahoy, me hearty" instead of "Hello."
The inside joke spiraled into mainstream media when the two friends pitched the idea of the "Talk Like a Pirate Day" to Pulitzer Prize winner and popular American humor writer Dave Barry. Barry, who writes a syndicated column for the Miami Herald, took a liking to the day and promoted the idea in his columns.
From the media, the "Talk Like a Pirate Day" grew even more famous during the season premiere of an ABC TV network show, which aired on September 18, 2006.
From there on, there was no stopping "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Michigan singer/songwriter, Tom Smith, came up with the song "Talk Like a Pirate Day," which became the day's unofficial song.
The day has also been observed in a big way by two tech giants—Google and Facebook.
On September 19, 2008, Google launched a "pirate" edition of their Google homepage—where the language was all in pirate speak.
On the same day in 2008, Facebook also started offering "English (Pirate)" as one of its language options for its popular social networking website. The language choice changes certain Facebook terms into colloquial pirate lingo.
In addition, several multiplayer games, such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, started to have special events on their online games on "Talk Like a Pirate Day."
And what happened to the original creators of the parody day—Baur and Summers? The twosome established a website which now sells books and T-shirts and other paraphernalia related to the website.