Saturday, January 17, 2009


A pirate - a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.

In my mind, this indicates pirates are thieves. However, in recent media reports not only are pirates interviewed, but reporters seek quotes from their “spokesman” and refer to gang members as “colleagues.” Reading these reports enraged me. How could upstanding media outlets legitimize illegal actions with such word choice?

But before I jumped to any conclusions (I’m not as hip as I once was), maybe I needed to review my definitions of some of the words in question.

Colleague – an associate one works with

Well, I suppose that’s true. If you’re thieving as a group, then the people you consort with would indeed be your colleagues.

Work – an exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil

Yes, I would think that hijacking oil tankers would require effort. I’d even go so far as to say it would require labor. It’s no small feat to round up a crew and imprison them on their own ship.

There was more under work.

Work – employment, as in some form of industry, esp. as a means of earning one’s livelihood

Again, I guess these pirates are supporting their families with the ransoms and profits from their plunder.

I must now admit my error. My anger was misplaced. The media had not made a gargantuan error, altering the entire spin of the story by using the words “colleagues” and “spokesman,” but rather the small mistake of using the archaic word “pirate.”

Better to have begun with “industrialist.”

Industrialist – a person who owns or is involved in the management of an industrial enterprise.

Hmmm. Not quite right. Aha! I’ve got it.

Entrepreneur – a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

We don’t even have to send in the Navy to stop them. I’m sure a competing business will show up soon and keep them in their place, after all, pirating seems to be a profitable business these days.

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