Peaked, Peeked, Piked or Pique?

“The characters in the story peaked my interest.”

No, that’s not right. On the surface, “peaked” might look correct, because the peak is the pointed top on anything; a mountain, for example.

For example, it is correct to say, “He is at the peak of his career,” indicating he is at the highest point of his career.

But to say something, “peaked your interest,” is not correct. It’s a mistake I’ve made more than once before I started getting it right. I’ve seen others use “peek” or even “pike” as well, and they are also incorrect.

peakpeekpiqueThe correct spelling of the word is “pique” (pronounced as peek) and though it may look wrong, this is the accurate spelling. The definition of pique as a verb is: to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.)

Some people argue that the alternate spelling of the word (peek or peak, for example) are also correct because they are commonly used. The problem with that argument is that no dictionary currently accepts that definition for either of those spellings, so the alternate spellings are not correct, they are just commonly misused.

English is a difficult language, and I am always learning.

I thought this discussion on StackExchange was interesting: Is it “peek”, “peak” or “pique”?





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