Today’s homophonous lesson deals with a triple-play of words that I’m sure cause no end of spelling mistakes.

The topic is hot on my mind for two reasons:

  1. I’ve got a baby on the way and peek-a-boo is a popular baby game
  2. I saw an improper version used on campus in the past week

First, there’s “peek” as in my peek-a-boo example:

Main Entry: 1peek
Pronunciation: ‘pEk
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English piken
1 a : to look furtively b : to peer through a crack or hole or from a place of concealment — often used with in or out

You’d also commonly use this version in “Sneak Peek”.

Then there’s “peak” which was mistakenly used in a poster on campus as “Sneak Peak”. I guess that would be an example of a very cunning mountain.

Guy 1: Where the hell did the Matterhorn come from?
Guy 2: You better watch out, it’s a sneaky peak!

Or something like that; you get the drift.

Main Entry: 1peak
Pronunciation: ‘pEk
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps alteration of pike
1 : a pointed or projecting part of a garment; especially : the visor of a cap or hat
3 : a sharp or pointed end
4 a (1) : the top of a hill or mountain ending in a point (2) : a prominent mountain usually having a well-defined summit b : something resembling a mountain peak
5 a : the upper aftermost corner of a fore-and-aft sail b : the narrow part of a ship’s bow or stern or the part of the hold in it
6 a : the highest level or greatest degree b : a high point in a course of development especially as represented on a graph
7 : WIDOW’s peak

Lastly, a word sure to pique your interest, “pique“.

Main Entry: 1pique
Pronunciation: ‘pEk
Function: noun
: a transient feeling of wounded vanity : RESENTMENT
synonym see OFFENSE

So it’s really not that hard, once you get the hang of it.

When I peeked around the peak of the roof, what I saw piqued my interest.


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