AI: A Scurvy Experiment, me hearties

Avast, it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day once again, an’ to celebrate, our great fearsome leader, Navigatin’ Shannon Dregg has decided to enable a plugin fer to translate this here site ‘to proper pirate talk. Well, it got me wonderin’ what would happen if this here program were to try an’ translate pirate into pirate. Will she crash an’ burn? Will these here words be rendered in boring ole English? Me, I’m votin’ fer destruction. I suppose the fates will decide.

Supposin’ ye can read what I’m sayin’ here, I put this question to ye:

On yer mighty pirate ship, how do ye punish yer mad scurvy dogs who be plottin’ against ye? Be ye a merciful cap’n or a fierce one?


The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) be a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

Related Articles


  1. Grog, grog and plenty o’ it! Rewardin’ each and ev’ry man for greetin’ another dawn! Plottin? Ha! Ha HA! Tha mateys be afeared to lose a place on me ship. We may ne’er sail straight and mayhaps the dock be splintered on arrival but it makes the singin’ bareable!

  2. I’m actually reading a book called The Invisible Hook at the moment, which is about the governance of the 18th century pirates and the economic incentives behind them. Its a good read, and probably worth it for the title alone.

    Anyway, it turns out pirate ships were highly democratic. If the crew didn’t like how the captain was performing then any time outside of battle they could depose him and vote another pirate into the captaincy.

  3. Yarr… I makes ’em listen to me tellin’ ’em whys they be wrong, and there’s no mercy for ’em ’till the ears start to bleed.

    Then I run’s ’em through and dumps ’em overboard, with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of homeopathic rum for comp’ny on the way down.

    So, me hearties, do I be a cruel man or a man-o-mercy? Or just rock-stupid for pourin’ good water into the sea?


  4. I would tie him to a chair, and make him listen to a thousand plates being scratched by forks, and a thousand blackboards being scratched with nails. The ear drums will surely pop from all of that.

  5. Arrrr, I be punishin’ the swabs by makin’ ’em lissen to the latest Dan Brown. T’ain a worst punishment in all o’ creation I tells ye. Arrr.

    Ahoy and avast ye salty seamen!

  6. The hands need stern discipline, but it’s no good being a right tartar. No preachy-floggy captain ever came to a good end. When the hands are sullen they get sloppy, and discipline goes by the board. Still, it does no good for a Captain to be seen as soft on the crew; they won’t respect him.

    The Articles of War are clear upon the point of mutiny:

    Article 18 – If any person in or belonging to the fleet shall make or endeavor to make any mutinous assembly upon any pretence whatsoever, every person offending herein, and being convicted thereof by the sentence of the court martial, shall suffer death: and if any person in or belonging to the fleet shall utter any words of sedition or mutiny, he shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a court martial shall deem him to deserve: and if any officer, mariner, or soldier on or belonging to the fleet, shall behave himself with contempt to his superior officer, being in the execution of his office, he shall be punished according to the nature of his offence by the judgment of a court martial.

    Article 19 – If any person in the fleet shall conceal any traitorous or mutinous practice or design, being convicted thereof by the sentence of a court martial, he shall suffer death, or any other punishment as a court martial shall think fit; and if any person, in or belonging to the fleet, shall conceal any traitorous or mutinous words spoken by any, to the prejudice of His Majesty or government, or any words, practice, or design, tending to the hindrance of the service, and shall not forthwith reveal the same to the commanding officer, or being present at any mutiny or sedition, shall not use his utmost endeavours to suppress the same, he shall be punished as a court martial shall think he deserves.

    Now, I know you Pirates do not heed the Articles of War, but we in the Navy are pretty keen on running you up at the yardarms. Especially those of you who’ve run from the service.

  7. Arr, let the punishment fit ye body. If ye be a woman, I’ll sell yer intr slavery. If ye be a man, I cast ye intr the bowel o’ me ship, where yer werk fer me ferever!

    But, alas, ye be a fair man, intr my cabin I cast ye, tr be my love slave, until a bettr man come along. Then I cast upon a desert island.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: