Does this state­ment look famil­iar?

What I over­heard peaked my inter­est.

The impor­tant thing to remem­ber about this phras­ing is that it’s wrong.

Peak”, as a verb, means to attain in a peak, which of course is the pin­na­cle, top or sum­mit of some­thing. When you con­sid­er that, then the above usage makes no sense:

What I over­heard attained the top of my inter­est.

The word you actu­al­ly want is “piqué”, which means to excite or arouse, which makes more sense.

What I over­heard aroused my inter­est.

I think one rea­son why this error per­sists is because “piqué” is for­eign to most peo­ple, so they have no idea “peak” has a homonym oth­er than “peek”.

Now you know. :)

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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