Even for the Grammar Guru, the English language can occasionally be a confusing one. There are plenty of words which sound the same, but mean completely different things.
There are even words which are spelt the same, but still mean completely different things. Like the word mean, for example.
These are common traps lying in wait for the unsuspecting writer, and here at “The People’s Friend” we see our contributors fall foul of them frequently.
But which one do we spot most often?
Interested In Looking At The Very Top: Pique vs. Peek vs. Peak
These words are homophones. They sound the same, but interchanging them can lead to some very confusing sentences . . .
Let’s look at what they mean:
If something were to pique your interest, then you would be motivated to learn more about it. Although this is the most common use if the word pique, it can also mean to be irritated, or to have one’s pride wounded.
If you’re taking a peek at something, you’re glancing at it quickly or surreptitiously — hence the reason it’s frequently combined with the word “sneak”.
If you reach the peak of something, then you are at its summit, whether that be a hill, or a field of expertise — hence the phrase “peak of their powers”.
Simple when you know how!