I grew up in northern New Jersey, the oft-maligned region of an oft-maligned state that has, more-or-less, New York City’s demographics. Centuries of immigration have pressed people from all over the world into this tiny piece of America, and with long shoulder-rubbing comes culinary interchange. When Puerto Ricans, Italians, and Polish people meet, magic happens, and some of that magic is spaghetti with kiełbasa, Alyssa style.
Those of you who have visited my Spanish-languagewriting I do not shy away from the diacritical marks that make Spanish function. Learning how to use them correctly was a major part of coming to grips with my heritage as much as I did in Miami, given how much more effective a communicator I am in writing than in speech. Leaving aside autistic sentimentality, leaving out diacritical marks in Spanish famously turns ordinary sentences into body-horror gibberish or casual blasphemy, so it’s important for would-be Hispanophone writer to know how to use them.