I’ve been an avid speller since I was quite young. Spelling was one of my favorite subjects (besides geography) when I was little, and I was thrilled to be included in the accelerated spelling program from when I was seven years old.
That being said…
I was unable to spell the word “margarita” until I was 17 years old.
I grew up in the Boston area.
People mock the Boston accent. Most people say that I don’t have a Boston accent, but at the same time, they’re expecting to hear Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. Even within the region, there are several dialects of the Boston accent. While my parents and other family members all have thick Boston accents, they’re from the North Shore — mainly Lynn and Revere.
(I often joke that every single member of my family except for my sister and me has spent time growing up in Lynn. There are very few exceptions. For background, Lynn was one of the few Boston-area cities allowing abortions, inspiring the rhyme, “Lynn, Lynn, city of sin, you never come out the way you went in, you ask for water, they give you gin…”)
People from Lynn and Revere don’t talk like people from Dorchester and Southie, except that they omit their R’s. Seriously, you should come to a family gathering of mine. And when the family members are around, the accent thickens.
(Personally, I live in the city now, but whenever I head home into the suburbs, I think that the accents kick into overdrive. I always hear much more of a Boston accent among the older crowd on the North Shore than I do among the younger crowd in Boston.)
Therefore, there are three words with which I never enunciate the R: margarita, watermelon and drawer. Mahgarita, watahmelon and drah.
It’s for this reason that I didn’t know how to spell the word “margarita” until I was 17 years old.
That being said, I hope you had as many mahgaritas as my friend Esther and I did, although we were unable to get into the Cactus Club. Happy Cinco de Mayo!