The peek of ignorance, or a sneak pique at my fit of peak

And so, midway through the journey of  life, I found myself printing out a dark forest's worth of marketing emails so that they could then be scanned and the resulting file burned on a CD to be sent probably via FedEx.  Indeed, I had strayed.

The task was irritating enough as I started at the present and began working backwards, but when I starting finding material that predated my joining the company, it got a little more interesting.  And then, just before the end - or rather, the beginning - I found this.

A sneak-peak

This is the sort of stuff that drives me mad.  it sets my teath on edge.  No, I'm not complaining that "A sneak-peak at what's inside" is not a sentence.  I'm pretty much at peace with the use of pieces and fragments in headlines and email subject lines.  It's the simple error of using "peak" instead of "peek" that gets me. I'll take a couple of extra irritation points for gratuitous-hyphenation, too.

As deftly explained by Paul Brians with some handy mnemonics, a peak is the top of a mountain, a peek is a glimpse, and pique is irritation or excitement.  For extra credit, we can also find that pique is a type of polo shirt, and a peke is an ugly little dog also known as Pekingese.

Anyway, that message would never have gone out like that on my watch.  It made me think of the time I had to correct "security breeches" to "security breaches" in a press release at a company selling software that helped prevent data theft, not a company selling adult diapers.  Sure, it's not exactly the decline and fall of Western civilization, but please folks, proofread with your brain, not just your eyes or your computer.

1 Response

  1. Mike Everett-Lane
    This bothers the heck out of me too! Nearly as bad: "loose" for "lose".

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