Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Grammar Commando Rides Again (with friend)

Peek is a silly-sounding word. So are peak and pique. The fact that they sound equally silly does not make them interchangeable.

Peeking is something you do around corners to see if the children are ransacking the medicine cabinet or merely rereading Curious George for new ideas.

A peak is a mountain. (Picture that A as a capital. peAk.) It can symbolically mean the high point of anything.

To pique (a word no one on the internet seems to know) is to arouse, annoy, or intrigue.

So if you succeed in interesting your children in 13th-century illuminated manuscripts, you have piqued their curiosity. Don't say you've peaked it unless you mean to imply that you've taken them to the highest point of interest and they are bored with the subject now. And don't ever say you've peeked it at all, although if they get very interested and start creating their own illuminated manuscripts you might peek at their activities.

Thank you. I am done with my fit of pique.

And now, a note from a distant acquaintance, the fashion police:

What possesses people to wear pajama pants in public?

Pajama pants are useful and appropriate in many situations. They are great to wear while making pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning, when curling up with a cup of tea and a long movie, or while blogging. It is fine to wear them to dash out and pick up the paper or take out the dog. They are always appropriate in case of fire. Some people even wear them to bed.

But if you're going to the playground or school or Barnes and Noble, put those fuzzy ducky pants back in the drawer and get some actual clothes on!

It's not about decency (no garment could be less revealing or enticing than the standard pair of pajama pants). It's about not looking like a slob. Besides, it's cold outside. Put on something warm. Your mother should have told you this, but she is probably still in her pajama pants.

9 comments:

Rose said...

Okay, bravo, and now please go off on a tactful tirade about the new fashion people have of 'stepping foot' inside places instead of setting foot therein.

Eric and Wendy said...

Choclo enjoys counting your carrots and insists he wants THIS one!

darren said...

Here, here!!

--DJ

le Duc said...

I could care less about all this... ;-)

Meredith said...

Oh, thank you. I also cringe when I read "peaked" on otherwise well written blogs.

Of course I also cringe to think what grammatical errors people find on my blog...

Steve said...

Darren and Duke, those were sum of the wurst examples I've scene.

Fe said...

Yes!

Wondergirl said...

I would also like to point out that we need to rein in government spending, rather than reigning it in.

le Duc said...

And after a meeting today, I'm glad you just come out and say thinigs and don't mix words...