Through her The Monday Peeve prompt, Paula Light invites us to vent, to let off some stream, to get something off our chests. This week, my peeve is with people who use the wrong word in their writings.
This is especially tough when it comes to homophones — words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have totally different meanings. Hey, I know I sometimes am guilty of it, too, perhaps typing “your” when I meant “you’re,” “there” when I should have used “their” or “they’re,” or “to,” when “two” or “too” would have been correct. But sometimes, when I see people use a totally wrong word in a sentence, it drives me nuts.
Now, let me say upfront that you might think this ruckus I’m kicking up with this peeve is a bit much and that the vitriol I’m expressing is atrocious given the relative insignificance of the offense. Be that as it may, when I saw that today’s Word of the Day prompt was the word “pique,” it reminded me of a sentence that one of my coworkers (back before I retired) put in a formal email to me. That email read:
“I knew your email would peak her attention.”
OUCH! Hey, it’s not that I’m a grammar Nazi or anything, but seriously, one does not “peak” one’s interest or attention. The correct word in that sentence should have been “pique,” and not “peak.” A “peak” is a topmost point, such as a mountain peak. “Peek” is to take a glance or a quick look. “Pique” is to upset or excite someone or to stimulate someone’s interest. It’s not rocket surgery or brain science, folks.
Okay, I’m over my pique. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
In addition to being written for Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve, this post is also written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (ruckus), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (vitriol), Your Daily Word Prompt (atrocious), and Word of the Day Challenge (pique).