Sheryl Agner knows a thing or two about playing pirate.
By day, Agner is a supervisor at Metropolitan Community College. But she and her husband, Calvin, attend many area fairs and festivals as Jaz Gemstone and Calico Cal Sparrow, members of the Pirates of the Black Flag.
Agner is such a dedicated pirate that she and her husband are constructing their own pirate ship.
For this year's “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” celebrated today, we've assembled a list of tips to perfect your inner buccaneer:
» Learn the basics. Words such as “ahoy,” meaning “hello,” and “aye,” meaning “yes, I agree with you,” are easy to put into day-to-day speech. You can also use longer slang. Agner recommends phrases such as, “You'll be walking the plank today.”
» Try to find an accent you're comfortable with. Maybe your voice has an Irish sound to it, or you're really good at a particular voice. Play it up. If not, there are other options. “There's always talking to the parrot,” Agner said.
» Put together a costume. Agner makes all of her own costumes for the Pirates of the Black Flag, and they're spot-on: Her husband has a costume that looks just like Johnny Depp's in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” You don't have to get that complicated — grab a pirate hat and you're all set.
» Drink some rum. “A pirate's not a pirate without his rum,” Agner said — though she herself doesn't drink.
» Be yourself. You don't need to adopt a new persona, Agner said. You just need to use pirate words.
Got it, matey?