Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Get It Right: Peek, Peak, And Pique

It has been a few months since we last corrected a common grammatical mistake in the English language, so it's about time we continue our quest to rid the world of these unfortunate errors. Today we'll be explaining the difference between peek, peak, and pique.

Peek

The word peek refers to looking at something quickly or in a secretive manner. It's generally used as a verb, as in "the naughty girl peeked at her Christmas presents".

Valley of the Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Canada
Peak

Peak has a completely different meaning, which refers to a high point. As a noun, a peak can mean "the top of a mountain", or indeed the high point of any number of other things. In its verb form, it means you've reached the highest state of something, such as "the gymnast peaked at age 16". 

Pique

Finally, we have pique, a term of French origin. It's a verb that refers to eliciting a specific response, generally used alongside the terms "interest" or "curiosity", as in "the strange music piqued my curiosity".

Piqué

Gerard Piqué is a Spanish footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. He's most known for his good looks, having a baby with Shakira, and his football talent, in that order.

Are there other common grammar or spelling mistakes that drive you crazy? Let us know in the comments and we may correct them in the future.