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Don't say "peaked," do say "piqued."

Don't say that: 

"Peaked" when you mean something made you interested

Do say this: 

"Piqued." Yes, they sound the same but they mean something entirely different.


"Peaked" means that something, or someone, has reached the maximum, or optimum, achievable. It's quite poor English, actually, but it's in such general and widespread use that it's become normal. Presumably, it started when someone said that a mountaineer had reached the top of a mountain and instead of saying "he's reached the peak," the sloppy expression "he's peaked" started. Usually, these days, when someone is said to have peaked, it means they've gone as far as they can and the only way is down.

"Piqued," however, has nothing to do with achievement. When someone's interest is piqued, it means that that thing has attracted their interest and they are going to pay attention to it.


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