Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Add new tag, Business writing, CIO, commonly misused expressions, commonly misused words, peak pique or peek, Quiz, spelling
|Which is correct?
The proliferation of smartphones has _____ interest in voice-to-text applications.
To pique is to stimulate or sharpen. (It’s a French word meaning to prick.)
Peaked means increased to the highest possible level, like the peak of a mountain. That doesn’t work in this context. Interest could peak before falling off to a lower level again. However, it couldn’t BE peaked by something.
I think this is where the confusion comes in on this one. People hear of something peaking — a stock price, for example — and think this is the same word. Nope.
Peek means to take a quick look at something.
Here’s a snapshot of use and misuse online as of June 22, 2009:
Google search score:
Pique my interest: 3,250,000
Peak my interest: 2,110,000
Peek my interest: 298,000
That’s worse than the situation Robert Mack documented in 2007.