Repeat After Me: Mike-lers NOT Mick-lers

16 Feb

It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to hear folks mispronounce my family’s name as “Mick-ler” rather than the proper pronunciation of “Mike-ler.” It is our mission to ensure that future generations know how to pronounce “Mickler’s Landing” in Ponte Vedra Beach.  It really is pronounced Mike-lers, even if it’s not spelled that way.

Just last week I heard two people refer to it as “Mick-lers.” One has been here nearly 25 years and never knew there was another pronunciation.

I am part of the Mickler clan that was one of the pioneer families that settled Palm Valley back in the mid-1800s. My mother Nettinell Mickler Altee was cousin to Sydney Mickler who once owned the beach now known as Mickler’s Landing and where Mickler’s Pier once stood, as well as surrounding property.

People will often argue the pronunciation until they are told it was named after our family. Most folks are smart enough to believe us.

There was the time, however, that a boss of mine went into a full-fledged tantrum because I wouldn’t agree to mispronounce my family name.  During college I was a news intern at WTLV in Jacksonville. While in the editing bay one day voicing a piece, it chanced to contain the name in question.  The executive producer popped his head in to be “helpful” and let me know I had mispronounced the landmark’s name, that it was in fact pronounced “Mick-ler.” When I very nicely explained how I knew my pronunciation was correct – I thought his head was going to explode.

 I swear to God, these were his words, “I’m the executive producer, and if I say it’s Mick-ler’s, it’s Mick-lers!”  He stomped off  leaving all of us speechless. I continued on by pronouncing it the only way I could without my mama reaching down from heaven and slapping me upside the head.

I thought for sure there would be hell to pay, but he never said a word. The news director at the time, Howard Kelly, later acknowledged I was correct while giving me a knowing wink. I suspect he informed Mr. Executive Producer how foolish he had been.

You’ll  see the Mickler name throughout this area  including the stone obelisk monument in the Plaza in St. Augustine that includes the names of local war heroes.

As one of the ninth generation of the original Mickler family in Florida,  I’m just doing my part to ensure the honor of the correct pronunciation continues.


3 Responses to “Repeat After Me: Mike-lers NOT Mick-lers”

  1. Carrie with Children 02/17/2011 at 12:15 AM #

    Great post! I enjoyed reading about the history of the name – how cool that you can trace your family history back that far!

  2. newzgrrl 02/17/2011 at 1:46 AM #

    The name always gives me pause. I know it is pronounced Mike-ler, but I see that C and I want to go the other way.

  3. Chris Boivin 02/17/2011 at 2:59 AM #

    I’ll do my part, Cam, but it’s going to be a long uphill battle. Living w/ a last name spelled like the French spelling but pronounced in some bastardized English way, I know all too well the pains of mispronunciation.

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