peak, peek, pique

peam, peek, pique


A peak is a high point. For a dog, it could be a pat on the head or a steak bone after dinner.

In Shakespeare’s time, peak could also mean to waste away, as in “Macbeth:” …dwindle, peak and pine.

A peek is a brief or furtive look, a look like one a dog might venture after being sent to the doghouse.

To pique is to provoke or vex, or arouse resentment, as a dog might do by venturing to peek from the doghouse before he should.

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The Writer's Stylebook is a unique collaboration between two former journalists -- my father, Lawrence, and me. Mr. Fellows, an impassioned wordsmith and journalist of long standing, created the original Stylebook, which he distributed to Connecticut newspapers and worked on for over a decade until his death 16 years ago. In 2003, the Connecticut Press Club published "Wordwatch: A Writer's Guide to Linguistic Distinctions," a compendium of nearly 300 of my father's word features. Unfortunately, that book is out of print and my father's features have been languishing in the attic of our family home in Westport -- until now. With the blessing of my mother, Ruth, I'm reviving the Stylebook and putting it online in the hope that it will find new readers. I think there's a need for a lively, illustrated guide to words and word usages that isn't wordy -- especially in today's fast-paced world!

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