Why Write Wrong? #1

Hi, Folks! Marcia here, checking in from way down south in central Florida. Hope you’ve all been having a great week, so far.

Since this is my first “official” post as a new member of the Story Empire family, I thought I’d start off with something quick and easy–a short post in my ever-growing series, Why Write Wrong?  I don’t know about you guys, but I really hate being pulled out of a story I’m enjoying by things that probably should have been caught during proofreading or editing. Now that’s not to say that nothing ever gets by me during the writing and publishing process. It does. It  can happen to all of us, including some of the biggest names out there. But that doesn’t mean we should become complacent about this stuff. Nope. Instead, I believe we should be working constantly to improve, and that includes paying attention to details in order to become the best we can be.

With that in mind, this series is designed to focus on various words and phrases I’ve seen misused way more often than they should be. In particular, I’m thinking of those times when we use one word, but actually mean another, and I will be offering specific examples each time I post a new episode of Why Write Wrong? My goal is to present these in a way that’s fun and and easy to remember, so let’s give it a go.

Today, I want to focus on three words I see misused surprisingly often: peek, peak, and pique. These words are not interchangeable, though believe it or not, I have recently seen all three misused in a series I’ve been reading, and more than once, at that. Let’s take a look at them.

Peek, peak, and pique are homophones, pronounced exactly the same way, but in this case, spelled differently, and they definitely having very different meanings.

 

 

 

Peek means to take a quick look at something, perhaps in a sneaky manner. He peeked at the answers to his homework assignment. If what you want to say deals with the way your character is looking at something,  choose the word PEEK.

 

Peak is normally used to reference the summit or highest point of something. The peak of the mountain rose beyond the forest. Or perhaps: She mounded the whipped cream on the pie in fluffy peaks. It can also work for a summit a bit less tangible, such as: The child actor’s popularity peaked when she was a mere eight years of age.

If what you need to say deals with a high point or summit, you’ll want to use PEAK.

 

Pique is definitely misused more often than the other two. Pique is a state of irritation or resentment. Her spiteful tone left him in a fit of pique. It can also be used to indicate the rousing of curiosity.  His curiosity was piqued by the mysterious letter. So this one deals with emotions, and has nothing to do with peeking through a crack in the door, or climbing to the peak of the jungle gym. If you are describing  an irritated character in an angry snit, or one whose curiosity has been aroused, choose PIQUE.

 

Now, have I piqued your curiosity enough for you to wonder if your blinds are pulled, so no one can peek in your windows and discover you’re the annoying neighbor playing your music at peak volume? (Okay, even I’m groaning at this one, but you get my drift.)

 

 

I hope this helps clear up any confusion about these three homophones. Errors with the first two are usually just typos, but that third one gives many people trouble. Ever get stuck on it, yourself? Inquiring minds wanna know. 

When I return, I’ll have something completely different up my sleeve, but you can bet I’ll share more Why Write Wrong? posts down the road a piece, as we say in these parts. Thanks for joining me today, and I hope you’ll stop by often to see what the rest of the gang is discussing! Now let’s all go forth and write with happy hearts, those being the very best kind!


DISCLAIMER:
I am not an English teacher, grammarian, or expert on all matters of this nature,
but I promise I have consulted with those who are before posting anything in this series.
(All images above were created by me or obtained from Pixabay.)

 

52 thoughts on “Why Write Wrong? #1

  1. Pingback: Three Links 3/26/2020 Loleta Abi | Loleta Abi Historical & Fantasy Romance Author & Book Blogger for all genres

    • Thanks so much, Diana! I’m glad you’re looking forward to the series. This is one I’ve never messed up, either, but I see errors with it so often, I decided to start this series with it. And yep, it’s a bad day when I don’t learn something new. (I firmly believe learning something new every day keeps us young!) There’s always something interesting, educational, and helpful going on here at Story Empire, and I’ll be happy contributing what I can to the mix. Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, love it. I was reading a book on the weekend that had the wrong “your” in it. I THINK it was just an editing error, not ignorance, but geez did it pop me out of the story!! Great first ‘official’ post Marcia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Jessica! This series is always fun to write, and hopefully, helpful. We all have words we mess up now and then, but when they make it into our published books, it’s very disruptive to readers who notice. (As you just did.) Often it’s a typo that didn’t get caught, and those are bad enough. But when it’s a word or phrase used incorrectly, it’s really a jolt. And some phrases have been misused so often the incorrect version is everywhere. Eeep. Thanks for stopping by today and taking time to comment, and I hope you’ll enjoy the next in the Why Write Wrong? series. There’s always something interesting or helpful going on here at Story Empire, and I’m very happy to be part of it all now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Why Write Wrong? #1 | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  4. I always have to stop and think about my spelling when I use peak/peek, and creak/creek. Pique isn’t a problem for me, but I constantly have to think about the others when I’m writing. One of those mental block/hurdles I have.
    I’m going to like this series, Marcia!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have some words that hang me up, too, so I always double check when I’m using them. 🙂 I’m glad you think you’ll enjoy this series, and I’m hoping it will be of help to everyone at one point or another. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far. I’m actually DOING stuff today. Physical stuff. For the first time in over two weeks, I feel like a reasonably normal person again. A very good sign! 😀 You stay well, now! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Yvette! I’m so glad to know that you enjoyed the post, and yes, I can well imagine how it would drive an English teach crazy. It drives ME crazy, and for more than 69 years, I was just your regular, ol’ reader. (Now of course, I’m your regular ol’ reader who also writes books. 😀 ) I’m glad you liked my approach, too. If I can make people smile while they learn something new, I figure I’ve done my job. 😉 Next time up will be something different, but I’ll be posting more Why Write Wrong? posts as the weeks go by.

      Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Craig! These little Why Write Wrong? posts are a lot of fun to write. I like your example, too. 😀 And I remember Norm Crosby very well. 😀 He was known as the King of Malaprops or something similar, I think, and very funny. I believe he’s still around, too, though probably not performing these days. Hadn’t thought about him in years. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Craig!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think we all do that now and then, but I don’t think we usually make that exact mistake (with the same word) over and over. Usually when that keeps happening in a book, it’s because of confusion about definition or usage. If it’s only once or twice for a given word, it’s likely a slip up and something that editing or proofing should catch. I think I said in a response somewhere below that when we go over our work, we see what we meant to say, rather than what we actually typed. That’s where a good editor and/or proofreader can help so much. Don’t leave home without one! 😀

      Thanks for stopping by, Judi! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Jan. Yeah, these three (particularly pique) seem to confuse a lot of people, but hopefully, anyone who stopped by today is clear on the correct usage now, just in case they weren’t already. 😀 That’s the goal of this little series, anyway, and we’ll see how it goes.

      Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jacquie. And I agree on those three. So often misused! I’m quite sure they’ll show up in a Why Write Wrong? post one of these days. One I find distracting is Lets/Let’s. It shouldn’t be so difficult if a writer understands the whole point of the apostrophe, but it so often shows up used incorrectly. That’s one that might be more about a typo that Word doesn’t catch, or something similar. Not sure. But there are plenty of really obvious ones to work our way through first, I think. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome “Why Write Wrong” post, Marcia! 🙂 A welcome reminder that it’s oh so easy to write wrong when it comes to homophones. Thankful for great editorial input when it comes to book publishing–I’ve been saved more than once. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Bette, and I’m right there with you when it comes to editors saving our bacon! 😀 So important. Homophones can be tricky for sure, so I’ll no doubt have a few more of them popping up during this series.

      Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • And btw, Bette, if there was ever a perfect example of why we should ALWAYS use an editor, it’s my misuse of the word homonym when I meant homophone. I actually DO know the difference, but somehow missed it in my own editing. DOH!!! So, I’ve made my own case here for watching what we do and using editors or proofreaders whenever possible. 😀 (Maybe I should say I did it on purpose, just to see if anyone–like you–was paying attention?) 😀 😀 😀

      Like

    • Thanks for sharing, Don. I think my response on your blog has confused me and everyone else, as well. Just trying to say that the actual post is on the Story Empire blog, rather than on The Write Stuff. Feel free to delete the jumbled mess I made of that. 😀 Obviously, I’m still not “braining” to PEAK efficiency. (See what I did there? 😀 ) At any rate, I appreciate your sharing this, as always! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Michelle. We have some excellent technology to help us, but it has its limitations. However, when you see the same mistake being made repeatedly, especially in one book or series, it often indicates there’s a misunderstanding about the correct usage of the particular word in question. I can’t even count how often I’ve seen peek or peak used when the writer meant pique. It’s a really confusing one for some people, so that’s where I started. Of course, some writers have pretty solid vocabularies and don’t often mix words up. In that case, I’d say the misuse is more likely the result of relying too heavily on Spellcheck.

      Hopefully, this will help remove the confusion about some of the most frequently misused words–the ones where the writer is actually unsure about the correct definitions. At least, that’s my goal in this particular series. We’ll see how it goes! 😀

      Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I haven’t had an issue with these words, but I have some that bother me, I type what/when/where in places I shouldn’t and breath/breathe. Thankfully an editor always catches those for me. It does pull me out of a atory if its startling and makes me have to we wonder what is meant. Good blog topic, Marcia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect we each have our particular hang-ups on definitions, spellings, and even typos–those that give us the most trouble. I can’t say it enough: Editors, Editors, Editors. And proofreaders, too, if possible. Also, using the Read Aloud function in Word is a huge help to me. Things I don’t see, I usually will HEAR when the paragraph is read aloud. Glad you like the topic, Denise, and I hope you’ll pass these along for those who might be helped by them. I’ll be running them frequently, especially as I spot new cases of incorrect usage. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! So glad you liked it, John! As my first post here, where so many wonderfully detailed and interesting technical issues are often discussed, I was a bit nervous, but I really feel these little things are just as important to our overall process. We need all aspects of writing in order to be the best we can be.

      And honestly, I can’t imagine publishing without an editor. I’d be terrified to do that, with good reason. Even the typos are worse now than when I was younger, as my old eyes miss a lot.

      Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you’ll enjoy this series in upcoming weeks. There will be other things on my mind, too, of course, but I’ll be doing more on confusing words and phrases, for sure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A nice post, Marcia. I have never misused those particular words but sometimes one makes a spelling error which results in a wrong word entirely. I wrote plague instead of plaque in Through the Nethergate and it was picked up by the proof reader. I just didn’t see it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • A perfect example of how important proofreading and editing are. We never see our OWN mistakes, but instead, see what we meant to write. As I go through more of these Why Write Wrong? posts, there may be a couple that are helpful to you, but if not, just pass them along on your social media, if you can. It might save another writer from using them incorrectly. I see “pique” misused way more often than you’d imagine, for instance.

      Thanks for stopping by today, and hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve got coming up next. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Harmony: Noise!?! Oh yes, and it a traditionally published book too, lol!

    And part of a hugely popular series, at that. One of my very faves, in fact. But it’s nice to think that these things can get by the best out there, as well as a newbie like me. Or maybe it’s horrifying and daunting? Still, it gives me incentive to work even harder. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: I’m at #StoryEmpire Today and I Hope You’ll Stop By! | The Write Stuff

  10. These kinds of errors are so easy to miss when you’re writing. They’re sometimes even difficult to catch in editing. But they’re almost always noticeable when you’re just trying to read for pleasure. Really enjoyed this one, Marcia. Especially the sentence where you used them all.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 😀 Glad you liked that, Staci, and that you enjoyed the post. I love doing this series, and there will definitely be more, because my list of things I’ve spotted keeps growing and growing. 😯 But you’re right. It’s much easier to see these mistakes in someone else’s book you are enjoying right up until the moment one of them stops you in your reading tracks. 😉 A perfect example of why an editor is so important. We don’t see our own errors, and certainly, we’ll miss them if we don’t understand the meaning of a word or phrase we’ve used. Let’s hear it for proofreaders and editors, and for widening our understanding of commonly misused words and phrases! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Love this, Marcia! I know I’ve accidentally misused words, and it got past editing and proofreading. But I strive to do the write, um, right thing. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    Just the other day, I wanted to use the word pique and for the life of me had to look up the spelling. Now that’s bad!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Joan! I’m glad you enjoyed this. It’s a quick and, hopefully, easy reminder for some often misused words. I do hope it will be a fun way to remember them. 🙂 I think pique trips up a lot of folks, hence starting with these three words, but I’ll continue with the series over time, every couple of posts or when I see something new that pops out at me.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Great post, Marcia! I’m like you on this matter. Such errors rip me right out of even the best reads. Another one I see misused so often is wave versus waive. Again, the same in sound but very different in meaning! My motto is that if you’re not sure, then check. The internet has dictionaries and thesauruses galore that can help if an editor or proofreader is outside your budget. (Because my brain is addled this morning, I did just check the plural usuage for thesaurus, lol.)

    Reblogged this on: https://harmonykent.co.uk/why-write-wrong-1/

    I’m going to enjoy this series 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oooh, making a note of wave/waive! It will show up at some point, I’m sure. 😀 Often, Word will flag these words, because in some cases, even the program knows when they’re used incorrectly. But at the same time, this kind of thing is not something you can rely on Word catching, so you have to check yourself, or have a proofreader take a good look. I use Word’s built-in Thesaurus quite often, too, though more typically, I’m using it to find better word choices to get rid of “echos.”

      At any rate, it is very distracting when something jolts you right out of a story. Typos and misused words are prime examples of things we should be checking and double checking for, though as we know, errors do slip by, even with some very popular authors. (Does the phrase “wrinkled his noise” ring a bell??) 😀

      Glad you are looking forward to more of these. I like to offer some shorter, but still helpful, posts sprinkled here and there.

      Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.