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Posts Tagged ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’

Talk Like A Pirate Day 2013

September 19, 2013 | 12:05 pm |

What started as a simple tradition among friends, was embedded into Internet lore with an article by humorist Dave Barry. Talk Like A Pirate Day has been going strong for about a decade.

While there are signs the homespun viral trend is abating, it’s still an important holiday to all of us (even though most don’t know it).

Here’s a prior year’s comprehensive post.

Like the Fed, you never know what a Pirate will do.



[Three Cents Worth NY #210] Manhattan Housing Talks Like a Pirate

September 19, 2012 | 5:03 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m simply here to take measurements.

Read this week’s 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

…Out of respect for International Talk Like A Pirate Day I thought I’d comment on housing metrics that would provide seaworthy analogies to prepare us for the next round of Manhattan housing market reports (i.e. our 3Q 2012 market reports we’ll be publishing with Douglas Elliman) in less than two weeks when the quarter ends. For this edition of 3CW I matched up Manhattan co-op/condo absorption rates and the year-over-year change in median sales price of the last decade. Absorption covers sales and listing trends and prices cover, well, you know what they cover. For the purposes of my analysis I define absorption as the number of months it would take to sell all active inventory at the current pace of sales…


[click to read column]

Curbed NY : Three Cents Worth Archive
Curbed DC : Three Cents Worth Archive
Curbed Miami : Three Cents Worth Archive

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Housing Trends & Talk Like A Pirate Day 2012 (10th Anniversary)

September 19, 2012 | 1:42 pm | |

Well, NAR released the August 2012 existing home sale numbers today. Yawn.

More importantly, it’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day and I’ve marked this day on my calendar for nearly as long as the 10-year run it’s had. Just mentioning the annual event to my kids makes them worry about me and yet be embarrassed for me at the the same time.

For more about this important holiday, you can get the story and go right to the founder’s web site.

And yes, home sales are up. [Pirate talk translator]

August Existing-Home Sales and Prices Rise [NAR]
On Talk Like A Pirate Day Jonathan Miller Tells It Like It Is [Curbed DC]
International Talk Like a Pirate Day [Wikipedia]
International Talk Like A Pirate Day [Original Site]
Google’s Pirate Themed Home Page [Google]

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Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2009

September 19, 2009 | 12:01 am |

This year, Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on the same day as the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. In deference to the latter, it was suggested to me that the phrase “Oy, oy, matey”, might be appropriate.

Here’s the story behind the madness of Talk Like A Pirate Day.

the day is the only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. He has stated that during a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!”, and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of D-Day, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when John Baur and Mark Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and promoted the day. Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry’s column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts on their website related to the theme. Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attributed to non-restriction of the idea or trademarking, in effect opening the holiday for creativity and “viral” growth.

A matrix of historical posts swabbing the Talk Like a Pirate Day deck:

Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2008
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2007
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2006
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2005

And here’s the Talk Like A Pirate Day news feed.

This whole viral phenomenon each year is simply insane and makes me say “shiver me timbers, me hartey’s” and remember, when you google today, make sure you use the Google Pirate search page. The original site is but my friend runs the runner up ranked site on Google called

You can translate everyday language into pirate speak.

Where “Has the housing market found a bottom?” becomes “Arrr, has the housin’ market found a bottom? Aye.”



Pirate Theory Of Credit Crunch Aversion

November 19, 2008 | 1:03 am | |

It started with Tom Friedman’s McDonald’s Theory of War:

No country with a McDonald’s outlet, the theory contends, has ever gone to war with another.

which was based on the premise that countries with an educated middle class that would sustain a McDonald’s are less likely to go to war…this theory held since 1996 until Georgia and Russia fought this past summer. Perhaps, they needed more happy meals?

Dan Gross brings us the Starbucks theory of international economics: >The higher the concentration of expensive, nautically themed, faux-Italian-branded Frappuccino joints in a country’s financial capital, the more likely the country is to have suffered catastrophic financial losses. Gross contends that Starbucks fueled the housing boom as “The Seattle-based coffee chain followed new housing developments into the suburbs and exurbs, where its outlets became pit stops for real-estate brokers and their clients. It also carpet-bombed the business districts of large cities, especially the financial centers, with nearly 200 in Manhattan alone.” Incidentally, the company is named for Captain Ahab’s first mate – Starbuck in Moby-Dick.

Well I’ve got my own (admittedly very thin, but please give it to me, I’ve never had an economic theory before) economic theory/correlation/indicator: Pirate theory of credit crunch aversion:

It’s been exactly two months since Talk Like A Pirate Day and apparently pirates are dominating the high seas (well, it pays better than fishing).

My pirate theory goes like this:

[Take a look at the ICC Commercial Crime Services Piracy Map for 2008.]

Piracy (the boarding of ships to steal their cargo) originates from countries that didn’t participate in the credit market run-up – namely participate in the proliferation of faulty mortgage securities that wreaked havoc on much of the global financial system. According to recent news, poor countries with limited financial sophistication tend to be the source of much the pirate activity.

(the map shows the locations of the activity, not the source)

What does this all mean? Well for starters, pirates are not likely eating at McDonald’s for lunch while sipping a mocha frappuccino grande with enough whipped cream to be esthetically pleasing, after boarding a container ship full of tanks and guns.

And they don’t have a 2/28 subprime ARM with a 2% teaser rate about to reset to a fully indexed rate of 11% with a significant pre-payment penalty. They merely get paid the ransom for the crew or get shot.

And of course, Somalian coffee served at Starbucks is quite good.

UPDATE: Infectious Greed: Somali Pirates and TARP

UPDATE2: Freakonomics: Spreading the Pirate Booty Around


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Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2008

September 19, 2008 | 1:48 am | Favorites |

Let me see…running around on the deck violating laws…ruining lives…chasing treasure that isn’t always what it seems…I must referring to Talk Like A Pirate Day. Not investment banks…Aaarrgh.

I may not be all that consistent about many things, but let past history be your judge, yer scoundrels!
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2007
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2006
Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2005

You can thank Dave Barry of the Miami Herald for getting the tradition going.

Here’s the story behind the madness of Talk Like A Pirate Day.

the day is the only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. He has stated that during a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!”, and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of D-Day, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.

Even Word-a-day got into the spirit.

The original site is but my friend runs the third ranked site called after the second ranked site in England.

Imagine legions of people googling “Talk Like A Pirate” for this holiday every year. The traffic is insanely high to these sites once a year.

This phenomenon reminds me of the immortal words (paraphrased from memory) of Guy Kawasaki, one of the early software evangelists at Apple.

Millions interacting with people they don’t know; about topics they don’t understand; for reasons they can’t explain.

Makes perfect sense to me. Arrrrgh!

Ok, it’s gettin’ late – I’ll soon address the SEC issue on short selling and the rumors of a new and improved RTC with a Johnny Depp-like delivery.

UPDATE: Number one search phrase on Google today “Talk Like A Pirate Day” and this Matrix post is the first blog mentioned. Arrrgh.


[Bailing Out The Housing Ship] Pirate Economics And Democracy

May 22, 2008 | 11:07 am | |

Pirates of several hundred years ago have been getting a lot of attention of late via the 3 Johnny Depp/Disney movies.

Well, apparently pirates formed some of the first petri dishes of modern economics and democracy according to a new book “The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates” written by an economics professor at George Mason (hat tip to Freakonomics).

The book caught me eye, arrgh, as someone who fancies the likes of (sorry, I digress) Talk Like A Pirate Day each September 19th as well as my friend Chris Miles’ site The “founders of International Talk Like a Pirate Day acknowledge that there is, in people who love to say “Aargh,” a yearning for a certain kind of freedom.”


Presidential candidates, take note: Long before they made their way into the workings of modern government, the democratic tenets we hold so dear were used to great effect on pirate ships. Checks and balances. Social insurance. Freedom of expression.

The pirates who roamed the seas in the late 17th and early 18th centuries developed a floating civilization that, in terms of political philosophy, was well ahead of its time. The notion of checks and balances, in which each branch of government limits the other’s power, emerged in England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. But by the 1670s, and likely before, pirates were developing democratic charters, establishing balance of power on their ships, and developing a nascent form of worker’s compensation: A lost limb entitled one to payment from the booty, more or less depending on whether it was a right arm, a left arm, or a leg.

Aside from walking the plank analogies, what the heck does this have to do with housing?

I’m getting to that.

If you think about it, one of the arguments against anything in the form of a bailout, is that we let the free markets decide (aka “Aargh”). Good honest hard working people should not be asked to foot the bill for other’s greed. I agree.

But all the “help” done so far is explicitly presented as anything but a “bailout” which is not true. That’s because any “fix” is essentially a bailout.

In a pure sense, the “anti-bailout” sentiment is based on the idea that people took advantage of the lending system to their own personal gain at other’s expense so they should suffer their free market fate.

If people broke laws, they should be punished. But what if they didn’t and gamed the system to its full advantage because there were no regulations or significant repercussions?

My entry into blogging in 2005 was born out of frustration that people around me were gaming the system “legally” (definitely not ethically) and seemingly nothing could be done about it or no one in government was willing to or understood what the problem was. Until now.

Which brings me to my point.

Free markets don’t work if there aren’t guidelines (remember that quote from Pirates of the Caribbean?). The problem with the lending environment of the past 5 years was the lack of appropriate regulation, oversight and enforcement. There was not a level playing field and risk could be shifted off to unwitting (misinformed, naive or stupid) investors.

In other words, it was a systemic problem.

Yet a business enterprise made up of the violent and lawless was clearly problematic: piracy required common action and mutual trust. And pirates couldn’t rely on a government to set the rules. Some think that “without government, where would we be?” Leeson says. “But what pirates really show is, no, it’s just common sense. You have an incentive to try to create rules to make society get along. And that’s just as important to pirates as it is to anybody else.”

Unless all parties have skin in the game, whether it is lenders, investors, borrowers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, investment banks, government, regulators, GSEs, ratings agencies, there is no financial democracy and we will have another systemic breakdown.

In other words, we need a workable regulatory structure.

The pirates were a lot more innovative than we probably give them credit for – you do need to lose an arm or a leg if you do something wrong.


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[Curbed] Three Cents Worth: Bad Case of Shrinkage

September 20, 2007 | 12:01 am | | Charts |

After taking two months off from Curbed and the fact that it was Talk Like A Pirate Day I decided it was a good time to start giving my Three Cents Worth to Curbed again. This week I divide three cents into a dollar by taking advantage of the exchange rate.

To view post: Bad Case of Shrinkage

Previous posts can be found here.

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Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2007

September 19, 2007 | 12:01 am |

For the uninformed, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Its got a lot of the crew rattlin’ their swords and celebratin’...well…nothing really, just like we did in 2006 and 2005.

The story is a long and twisted yarn. Arrghhh! It started with Dave Barry, the humor columnist and one of his recently divorced friends. Arrrh!

What does this have to do with the real estate economy? Nothing.

UPDATE: My web developer’s site was taken down. It shares servers with us and tens of thousands came to it today and brought my blogs and web site to a stand still. Amazing.


[Matrix Zeppelin Series] Sticky, Herd Mentality, Media Not Distorting, Acceptance of Risk, Smell Like Cabbage, Fear of Music, Price is Key and 75 Laminated Signs

September 29, 2006 | 7:38 am |

Despite [Talk Like A Pirate Day]( and the [Carnival of Real Estate]( Matrix readers actually thought about other things and said their piece.

Throwing caution to carny barkers walking the plank, here’s a few notable comments from the Matrix Zeppelin:

  • I find it interesting that people expect housing prices to “crash,” yet they are unwilling to see the value of their own home as dropping. Real estate prices are sticky-downward, because we price our homes based on our expectations and desires, not newspaper reports.

  • media coverage, if its not accurate, can help exagerate the highs and the lows of a market. I am not blaming the media at all, its just that I think there is a tremendous herd mentality out there right now.

  • the “herd” is finally waking up to the reality that housing prices must revert to the mean…the media is not distorting the issue; they are merely taking a hard look (for the first time in many years) at the fundamentals of real estate. and the fundamentals are overwhelmingly negative.

  • Sort of along the lines of what you are saying, I know my own perception has changed, over the past several years. Three years ago, when I bought my first condo, I wanted as much home as possible, so I got an adjustable rate 1st loan and interest only 2nd loan. This time around, in May, I was steadfast against getting an ARM, for either. The rates were just a bit higher for the 1st, and a lot higher for the second, but I didn’t want to take any chances. Bottom line? My acceptance of risk had been reduced, because of the uncertain housing market. Others, especially those who can’t afford to take out a fixed-rate mortgage loan at 8% instead of 5% (our 2nd loan rate) will have no choice but wait it out.

  • I find the best blogs at “carnivals” also tend to find carnies. Small hands. Smell like cabbage.

  • I am in Hoboken and it’s a sea of “For Sale” signs, whether on the street or attached to buildings. But I grew up in a town that banned them. I guess it is supposed to provide owners with a sense of security, but frankly, if you really want to sell, I think it’s pretty decent advertising.

  • Here’s another one from Coldwell Banker that claims it will help me [“Find myself a city to live in.”]( (If you’ve also got Fear of Music and ‘77 in your collection, you’re all set as far as I’m concerned.)

  • I have come to a similar conclusion concerning refinancings, but do you think that it will really have an effect on homebuyer mentality? I think that even if rates drop a little, sales will still be down and inventory up, because at this point price is key, and until that comes down, nothing will move. After all, interest rates have been low and falling all summer and it hasn’t helped at all. But that was just my own thought.

  • I know this comment is a little late, but did you hear what Barbara Corcoran had to say today on Good Morning America? She is trying to demonstrate how to sell your home in 7 days and amongst some good ideas she stated: 1) Blanket your area with “For Sale” signs. Corcoran made 75 laminated signs at Kinko’s for a total cost of $324. Make your signs bright and clear. Bright yellow is the most memorable color. Use clear, big, black lettering so people can read it easily. 2) Corcoran also made up car magnets and a giant billboard in front of the house. 3) The Freunds’ [the sellers] friend owns a ski shop on the major interstate in town, so Corcoran hung a nine-foot banner across the front of the shop. Seventy-five signs, one billboard and a nine-foot banner. Yikes!!! No doubt that Town Board will have a very lively meeting the next time they get together.

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[Curbed] Three Cents Worth: Time Lag

September 21, 2006 | 5:54 am | | Charts |

Its Wednesday, so its that time of the week to provide my Three Cents Worth as a post for Curbed, and rumour has it that they will not talk like a pirate. Arrrrr…

Three Cents Worth: Time Lag

[Previous posts can be found here.](

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Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 19, 2006

September 19, 2006 | 7:18 am |

Ahoy me hearties

In navigating the waters of the real estate market, every so often, you run into an obstacle. In order to get around it, it may help to talk like a pirate. I know it works for me. September 19th is International [Talk Like A Pirate Day [Wikipedia]](

International Talk Like A Pirate Day was invented in 1995 by two Americans, John Baur (“Ol’ Chum Bucket”) and Mark Summers (“Cap’n Slappy”), who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like pirate. It was Summer’s ex-wive’s birthdays.

In 2002, [humorist Dave Barry wrote a column about Talk Like A Pirate Day [Miami Herald]]( and the rest, they say, is history.

Think I’m crazy? Actually, please don’t answer that. Just take a look at [today’s news coverage of Talk Like A Pirate Day]( and you’ll see I am not alone, ya’ landlubbers! I’d be tying all thee scurvey dogs to the yardarm, and sendin’ the likes of you to Davey Jones locker (no offense intended).

Here are the 3 [leading Talk Like A Pirate web sites queried on Google](

[[Talk Like A Pirate Day]]( – This is my developer’s site – It was the second most Googled URL search on Talk Like A Pirate Day in 2002, the year the [Dave Barry article]( came out. Last year the traffic was unbelieveable.
[[Talk Like A Pirate]]( – This site is run by Dave Barry’s friends who came up with the idea and launched their site the year after Talk Like A Pirate Day was launched. They are getting into marketing fairly heavily this year.
[[Yarr]]( – This site hails from Great Britain.

Does this help us understand the real estate economy? Aye, it a be makin’ me shiver me timbers, ya scallywag, just thinkin’ ’bout it. So make sail ya bilge rat or we be keel haulin’ the likes of any peg leg who dares stop us.



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