February 28th, 2011

Peak or Peek -- or Peep?

Crocus by phileole on FlickrWhile following a link from an e-mail, I spotted this post from Jill of All Trades where she comments “Spring is peaking out today.” I almost clicked on the comment link to point out to her that she really meant “peeking”. But then I figured someone would pop right in and criticize me for being so pedantic. After all, it was clear what Jill was talking about and her photos of emerging Spring flowers were charming.

After rejecting the idea of leaving a comment on her blog, I hopped over here to post my thoughts. And, I turned to dictionary.com to look up “peak” and “peek” to provide the authoritative definitions to illustrate this post. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the preferred word was neither “peaking” nor “peeking” but rather “peeping”. In fact, the example with definition #4 of “peep” reads “the first crocuses peeping through the snow-covered ground.” I stand corrected!

Pertinent definitions from dictionary.com

4. the highest or most important point or level
5. the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything
15. to attain a peak of activity, development, popularity, etc.

2. a quick or furtive look or glance; peep.

1. to look through a small opening or from a concealed location
4. to come partially into view; begin to appear
7. the first appearance, as of dawn

Photo by phileole, used under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution v 2.0 license. Thanks so much!