Login

Avast, ye Mateys!

For the record, Sept. 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This conjures up an image of a guy with a peg leg, eye patch and parrot on his shoulder, men like Captain Kidd and Blackbeard. But like most things these days, pirates are not that easily defined. They can be foppish, like Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” or murderous hijackers, like the Somali pirates who took Tom Hanks hostage in “Captain Phillips.”

When he wasn’t giving “tea parties,” John Hancock, wealthy merchant and Founding Father with the super-sized autograph, was engaged as a privateer — effectively, a pirate sanctioned by the government. A pirate for the 1 percent, so to speak.

But it’s not just about guys. Grace O’Malley, the 16th century Pirate Queen of Ireland, brutally plundered the British Isles to such an extent that Queen Elizabeth I felt the need to meet with her and declare a truce.

Sometimes called the most successful pirate in history, Madame Ching terrorized the China Sea in the early 19th century, commanding 2,000 ships and 50,000 pirates. And she managed to retire … alive.

It turns out that piracy is a truly diverse profession. And you’re a pirate because you decide to be one. No experience necessary. A perfect metaphor for the low regard accorded expertise in today’s start-up culture.

On Sept. 19, we take that one step further. On that day, you don’t even have to be a pirate, you just need to talk like one.