From the Editor’s Desk

Peak, peek, or pique?

Peak, peek, or pique?

These three words are very often confused. If I could draw, I’d make an awesome grammar cartoon about them, like Matthew Inman at The Oatmeal, but since I can’t, I’ll have to settle for example sentences about Martian underwear.

PEAK mountain peakmeans the tippety top of a mountain; it can also mean reaching a metaphorical peak.

He climbed to the peak of the mountain, only to realize he’d forgotten his camera phone.

The number of mosquitos in the yard peaks at whatever time you want to host a barbeque.

PEEK means to peer or peep, like a creepy stalker, or to show a little bit.peeking

He peeked through the window, hoping for a glimpse of extraterrestrials.

A bit of Martian lace peeked through the gap in the wall, promising more exciting views on the other side.

piquePIQUE means to heighten interest. This is the one that’s often forgotten — I’ve read “peaked my interest,” or even “my curiosity peaked.” Both of these sort of make sense if you think about them, but the correct phrase is actually “piqued my interest.” Think of food that’s piquant — spicy and fascinating.

The Martian lace peeking through the crack at the peak of the roof really piqued Martin’s interest.

This has been your grammar rant of the day.