Diane Kepler (diane_kepler) wrote in circletpress,
Diane Kepler

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Language of the High Seas

For the story "Of Great Renown" I wanted to get right back there to the Golden Age with all those familiar tropes and tricks One of them was language. Pirates of the era spoke very differently than everybody else, even ordinariy sailors. And while they didn't all sound like Robert Newton, it's thanks to him we that Talk Like A Pirate Day is so popular. So it was important to get the language right for this story while still remaining intelligible. Plus language is, y'know, a kink of mine. *shifty eyes*
Long John Silver
One reference I went back to again and again for this project was The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues. This book is as carefully researched as many dissertations -- and probably more carefully than most. Author George Choundas made the herculean effort of documenting literally hundreds of pirate novels, films, radio dramas, and anything else he could lay hands on. The result is an authoritative documentary on how we portray pirate language and how that has changed over the years. He leaves no stone unturned. You want syntax -- he'll give it to you. Epithets? All neatly alphabetized and separated from both Orders and Oaths. 

I want to know everything you know about pirate language. Like what's the most porntastic-sounding part of a ship? Is there an order, an oath, that routinely brings any of you sea-dogs or lubbers to your knees? Fellow authors, did you pay extra attention to the dialogue in your stories and if so, how? 

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