Ok. I’m starting something new. Words that confuse us when we write. I mean, let’s face it. The English language is probably one of the hardest languages to learn because words have so many meanings, not to mention they have sound alike, but not spelled alike, twins. For example, today’s confusing words: peek, peak and pique. All sound alike, all can do and mean different things.
Peak as a noun: refers to the pinnacle of a hill or mountain. “The hikers arrived at the peak at sunset.”
Peak as a verb: it means to reach a maximum. “His speed will peak at 130 miles per hour.”
Peak as an adjective: “His peak speed is 130 miles per hour.”
Peek as a noun or a verb means to glance or have a brief look.
Pique, as a noun means a sense of wounded pride. “More is at stake than just personal pique.”
Pique as a verb means to excite, arouse or irritate. “The manuscript piqued the editor’s interest.”
I hope you visit every Wednesday for more Words of Confusion. Until next time…
- The Importance of Vocabulary (classroomcaboodleblog.com)
- Confusing (treemama.wordpress.com)
There are few things that get to me more than hearing people pronounce words incorrectly or use them the wrong way. My biggest pet peeve in the world is the infamous use of the word ‘at’ and ‘to’.
Why in God’s creation, do people have to put ‘at’ or ‘to’ at the end of a sentence? You know what I’m talking about. You’ve all heard it.
“Where’s it at?”
“Where are you going to?”
Hearing these two sentences or any derivative of them makes my skin crawl. Little hint folks: the word ‘where’ implies ‘at’ and ‘to’, so you don’t have to dangle your participles, ok?
The next thing that irks me beyond all reason is mispronouncing words. How many times has someone come up to you and said:
“Would you mind taking my pitcher?” and they hand you their camera?
Um, hello. It’s not a ‘pitcher’ peeps, it’s a picture. A pitcher is something you drink out of, so unless you’re offering me your giant container of frozen margaritas, please try to enunciate correctly.
I had someone say to me the other day, “Jen, can I ax you a question?”
Um, no. You can ASK me a question. I mean why do you want to chop up/get rid of a question by saying you want to ax it?
And don’t even get me started on the “Where it be?” and “Who it is?” Every time I hear that, I feel like I’m going to melt into a giant puddle like the wicked which, I mean witch, of the west.
Oh, and one more thing:
You don’t pronounce the ‘l’ in salmon!
What irks you the most about the way people speak? Come on. Tell me. I wanna know.
Ive razed for kids (mi last grad yu ates hi skool in Joon), and ovr the yeers, eech wun ov them haz askd, “Y dont we spel words like thay sound?”
After I re sited the hole speel behind the orijins ov the English languaje, the explanashun boild down to, ‘Becuz it iz wat it iz and yu just hav tu lurn how tu spel.”
Tunite, wile helping my teen with hiz report, I got tu thinking how hard it wood be to rite a post where al the words weer speld like thay sound. So, if yur wundering wi most ov the words look weerd in this post, blame it on mi teenajur and the weerd English languaje.