Peek, Peak, Pique

My husband hates it when I correct the grammar of signs, radio hosts, newspapers, etc. But I can’t help it! I really should just keep my mouth shut and suffer in silence. Which I do most of the time. I don’t actively seek out poor grammar just to criticise it. In fact, in regular conversation, I probably don’t even notice.

However, some errors bother me and I can’t stop thinking about them. It makes me sad because I can tell the person who innocently made the error most likely doesn’t read much. When that is the case, people write things like “rod iron”, or the subject of today’s post: “peek my interest”. Homophones are hard for non-readers, because they have probably heard the phrase a hundred times, but never seen it written out. Of course it doesn’t help that each form of the word pronounced “peek” has a few different definitions.

Peek – verb – to look quickly
Peek – noun – a quick look

Peak – noun – highest point
Peak – verb – to reach the highest point

Pique – noun – bad mood
Pique – verb – put somebody in a bad mood
Pique – verb – arouse somebody’s interest

Ok, now I’m not even sure the phrase “pique my interest” is correct!  Wouldn’t that be redundant?  Unless you mean “put my interest in a bad mood”  Oh, this will put me in a pique!

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3 thoughts on “Peek, Peak, Pique

  1. Hmm… I’m familiar with the phrase “piqued my interest” but not sure I’ve heard of the other definitions. I’m trying to think of how to use them in a sentence…”I was piqued about the bus being late.” I don’t think we use it in that way very often now. At least, I don’t! 🙂 Fascinating!

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