It’s a funny thing, but not so surprising. According to some figures that I looked up, about 30% of people misspell the word “Shepherds” and use “Shepards” instead. While the linguistics of the word would dictate that “Shepard” is the right pronuncation, the silent p and h in the word throws people off. There aren’t many words in the english language where the combination of those two letters results in a hard p. As a result, we’re left with a misspelling.
I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I misspell a word. I’m probably far worse than the average person, but I like to remember everything that I spell. Fortunately, spell checks often save the day, but in case you’re without one, you’ll definitely want to remember the spelling of this word easily, as there’s no need to waste any time spell checking or retyping.
With that said, here’s an easy way to remember that it’s German Shepherds, not German Shepards.
This dates back to the origins of the breed, and you may already see what I’m getting at. Surprisingly, the German Shepherd is only about 110 years old, as the breed was originally formed right around the turn of the 20th century.
These dogs were originally developed to aid farmers to herd sheep. What’s the word that I just wrote there? That’s right, they were used to herd sheep. Of course, nowadays, those days are long behind them, as German Shepards (I got you there, I hope you were ready to correct me – was just testing you!) are used mainly for police and military roles if there’s any labor to be involved with them. Otherwise, they make wonderful pets, as you probably already know.
So, I hope this little pneumonic device will help you to avoid a mistake that 30% of the population has to make. If you’ve made it before, you’ll find some solace in the fact that you’re by no means alone, but this is something you should definitely remember nonetheless.