Piqued

I received an email recently in which the sender said, “You’ve peaked my interest.” Upon reading that, I paused. While familiar with the phrase, I thought it was piqued my interest. After a quick trip to the intranet, I found I was right. Woo-hoo! And yet, I wondered about the phrase. Why pique and not peak?  Did you know that pique comes from the French, meaning to prick, in the sense of stimulate?  So when something piques your interest, it stimulates it. Some think to “peak” someone’s interest means to arouse it to the highest level. But according to the IT Knowledge Exchange, this is incorrect because, “Peaked means increased to the highest possible level, like the peak of a mountain. That doesn’t work in this context. Interest could peak before falling off to a lower level again. However, it couldn’t BE peaked by something.” So there you have it. I hope I’ve piqued your interest in knowing more about good words.

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