By in Random

They Heard the Herd

Earlier I read an article by WordChazer about easily made spelling mistakes. This reminded me of one class I taught in my early days of teaching. I was a city person, not having had a lot to do with farms and farm animals. This particular year I was teaching children right in the heart of one of New Zealand's most productive dairying regions. Cows were all they knew. One of the words in a popular spelling test at that time, in the early 1970s, was the word 'heard'. I became very frustrated at my lack of ability to teach the kids in my class how to spell the word, as well as their apparent disinterest in learning to spell the word correctly. But, when I think about it now, I have to laugh. The word 'herd' as in a herd of dairy cows was in their basic language. Herds were topics of conversation over the dinner table. They know how to spell 'herd' okay, but it wasn't until I did lots of work on the word 'hearing' that they finally understood the difference. #NewZealand

Image Credit » Personal photo of Val Mills

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


maxeen wrote on February 7, 2015, 4:01 PM

Easy mistake to make for the young ones ,you teachers certainly need the patience though.

WordChazer wrote on February 7, 2015, 4:29 PM

*grin*. Maybe if you'd talked about herding cats in relation to getting them to spell correctly, now?

valmnz wrote on February 7, 2015, 4:42 PM

We all learn from our mistakes it was probably just that part of the country where dairying was so strong that the problem occurred.

Last Edited: February 7, 2015, 4:43 PM

rebelann1949 wrote on February 7, 2015, 5:28 PM

I think there are far too many words that get misspelled due to so many variations of them such as there, they're and their, I see it misspelled so often and I don't doubt I misspell or misuse it as well.

valmnz wrote on February 7, 2015, 5:32 PM

I squirm a bit when I see some of the errors you've mentioned above - I'm a teacher 😊

bestwriter wrote on February 7, 2015, 6:39 PM

Oh the English language. A language that has no logic be it spelling, meaning, pronunciation - the works. One needs to have a retentive memory to be able to grasp it.

oldies909 wrote on February 7, 2015, 7:21 PM

hard to teach things you don't know much about.

valmnz wrote on February 7, 2015, 11:33 PM

Unless you grow up immersed in it emoticon :smile:

bestwriter wrote on February 7, 2015, 11:36 PM

English is my second language but my love for it is responsible for my fluency.

AliCanary wrote on February 8, 2015, 12:05 AM

Hey, look at that bunch of cows.
Not 'bunch', 'herd'.
Heard what?
Herd of cows.
Sure, I've heard of cows.
No, I mean a cowherd.
What do I care if a cow heard? I haven't said anything I shouldn't!

valmnz wrote on February 8, 2015, 12:25 AM

Love it! We have similar sayings in a nearby town called Bulls - heard of Bulls emoticon :smile:

seren3 wrote on February 8, 2015, 11:04 AM

English is not an easy language that way! I know many immigrants here who are well educated but despair about the "traps" in writing good English.