I’m going to just lay it out there – I did not expect to like this book. Why not? Because I’m biased. I think Jack Sparrow has become the lazy man’s jolly roger – a way to ride Disney’s coat tails to try and siphon off a little of their merchandising power. So combine this book’s Jack Sparrow lookalike on the cover with the fact that lexicons of nautical terms already exist (very few of which make for an interesting read) and you can see why I assumed it might be garbage.
And so it was to my happy surprise that How to Speak Pirate: A Treasure Chest of Seafaring Slang turned out to be not merely decent, but actually quite brilliant in its own right. The secret? As is so often the case it’s the ever elusive thing I like to call “good writing.” You’d be amazed at the difference it can make. (more…)