Commonly Confused Words
peak/ peek/ pique
Let's look at three homophones: peak, peek, and pique. Peak is a topmost point, such as a mountain peak, or to reach that point:
We're sort of at peak demand right now.
A peek is a glance or a quick look, like you do with the unwrapped Christmas presents at the bottom of your loved one's closet. It can also mean to glance or to peer at. It's frequently paired with sneak, which can lead you to use the incorrect peak:
Residents take a peek at bike and pedestrian safety plans
Yellowstone Offers Sneak Peek Of New Visitor Center
Finally, pique is to upset or excite someone. You will sometimes see peek one's interest for pique one's interest, but don't be fooled. If you're piquing someone's interest, you are exciting their interest not taking a quick look at it:
If that doesn't pique your interest, you can leave (but I'm keeping your shoes).
Here's your mnemonic device:
- You have to reach to gain the peak.
- If you peer at something, you are peeking.
- And if you're piqued about something, there's usually a question in your mind about it.
Use the word peak to refer to the pointy top of something, such as the jagged peak of a tall mountain or the tapered peak that forms when you beat egg whites for a recipe. Continue reading...
When you peek, you take a quick glance at something. It's incredibly tempting when you're little to peek at your birthday presents, but you soon learn how disappointing it is to spoil the surprise. Continue reading...
The verb pique means to make someone angry or annoyed. But when something piques your interest or curiosity, here the verb pique just means to arouse, stimulate, or excite. Continue reading...