Wrong Word Wednesday #32

Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television

Peaked / Piqued / Peeked

This is one that I’ve seen in a few self-published books over the last year (usually confusing peaked with piqued, rarely is peeked confused). I’m surprised that so many don’t know the difference – or perhaps it is a typo that is easily overlooked? What do you think?

Peaked: To reach the pinnacle (of a mountain or a career). Rebecca Adlington would say that she had a successful London 2012 but others suggest she peaked in 2008

Piqued: To have your attention / interest drawn to something. My interest in the sport section of the news piqued last night when I heard that Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Olympiakos

Peeked: To have a look at something. The wrapping on the Christmas present was slightly torn so of course the child peeked

I found another website with a useful pointer on how to remember the difference:

  • You have to reach to gain the peak.
  • If you’re piqued about something, there’s usually a question in your mind about it.
  • If you peer at something, you are peeking.

I found that here


2 thoughts on “Wrong Word Wednesday #32

  1. Inion N. Mathair

    For quite some time, I had thought piqued meant to look ill or poorly, until I discovered it was actually peaked. Go figure. I was running every story, poem, report, homework assignment in my head, trying to calculate how many times I’d used piqued for ill and literally cringed as I thought about it. LOL. Can’t tell you how many times Mathair and I have done that when we realized we’d misused a word. We’re instantly ready to republish, change our names, change careers, move… nothing too drastic. 😉

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