I just saw one of my favourite writers write about “to peak interest”.
In that case the correct word should be pique – to arouse interest.
This got me thinking (piqued my interest) about all the different sorts of “peaks” in English.
Peak – as in the pinnacle, the highest point. A mountain peak.
peek – to look at – often a quick look
pique – to arouse or to stimulate (interest or appetite)
As a word nerd, I try to use my nerdiness for good – to help businesses help their writers know how to choose the right words.
I often help create easy-to-remember “prompts” – often simple visual prompts based around the letters in the words or similarity to other words.
For example, to help you remember how to choose the right “peak”:
peAk – think of the peak in the A like a mountain to remember that sort of “peak”.
pEEk – think sEE. That sort of “peak” is when you take a quick pEEk so sEE.
Pique – comes from the French – which means to prick or to irritate. That “pique” can mean to excite or arouse. It can also mean to annoy. That version of pique “looks” French to me – so I remember that pique as the “fancy, longer version”.
The expression: A fit of pique – is the feisty French version – being annoyed/agitated.
See here for a fuller Definition:
I trust these memory cues will help you remember which version of “peak” to use.
When I took a pEEk at the TV show Twin PeAks, it piqued my interest.
If you’d like links to other easy-to-remember prompts to help you choose the right works – take a peek here!
1. sort or sought?
If you notice people in your organisation are confusing their words, I’d love to help.
I can run group training sessions or 1-1 coaching.
I work with lots of smart people who just need some help remembering how to choose the right words.
They are often at the PeAK of their careers. I take a pEEK at their writing and pique their interest in improving their writing by making the sessions memorable and enjoyable.
If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:
If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.
I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.
Linked In – under Tony Biancotti