Professional Style

Peaked vs. Piqued

September 2013
Spot the Error

When Ron learned that Erica would be at the skating party, his interest was peaked.

A peak is a pointy top, a mountain, a high point, an apex. But even so, no matter how high Ron’s interest level, it was not peaked. It was piqued.

Piqued is synonymous with aroused and provoked, which is the intended meaning in the “skating” sentence above.

Peaked, as an adjective, means either:

  1. ending in a point (like a peaked roof)
  2. sickly (pronounced PEE-kid)

Ooooooo. Wait a minute. Maybe Ron’s interest was peaked (meaning sickly). Maybe the thought of being so close to Erica made his knees buckle and his heart race. No. Wait. On second thought, that would have been Ron who was peaked, not his interest. Never mind. The definition of peaked just piqued my playfulness.

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