Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Jun 22 2009   2:29PM GMT

Which is correct — pique or peak or peek?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

typing Which is correct?
The proliferation of smartphones has _____ interest in voice-to-text applications.
a. peaked
b. piqued
c. peeked

Answer: b.

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 further discussion of this and other commonly misused words and phrases.

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.

1  Comment on this Post

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Share this item with your network: