THE EDITING ESSENTIALS BLOG

Worry-free writing: sneak peak or sneak peek?

How to spell sneak peek correctly

It’s easy to slip up and write sneak peak instead of sneak peek – muscle memory, whether we’re typing or handwriting, wants us to repeat that eak ending.

This explains why we end up seeing sneak peak so often, when what the writer really means is sneak peek.

So if you want to give your clients a preview of an exciting new service or product, make sure you’re offering them the right thing.

If you’d rather watch the video version of this blog, you can click on the image below.

Is it sneak peak or sneak peek?

Giving clients a preview of a product or service ahead of time is a common strategy, but don’t offer them a sneak peak. I don’t know about you, but that makes me think of mountains tiptoeing up behind me!

A snow-covered mountain peak, spelled P-E-A-K, against a bright blue sky

A peak is a mountain.

But you’re not offering mountains, so spelling it peak is sending the wrong message! You want your clients to have a peek – a quick look at the fabulous stuff you’re creating for them.

A tabby kitten peeking out from underneath a cushion. Peek is spelled P-E-E-K.

A peek is a quick look.

To peek is to look quickly at something, or look while partially hidden. That’s what you’re aiming for with your preview!

It’s such a common mistake that it’s really easy to find examples. Here are some from Twitter.

Examples of Twitter posts using sneak peak, spelled P-E-A-K, which is incorrect

You might think it doesn’t matter too much, as Twitter posts have such a short shelf life, but your Twitter posts are still part of your brand and you should give them the same attention that your web copy gets, for example.

But, unfortunately, too many companies still make the mistake on their websites.

Examples of sneak peek in website headings, where peek is spelled P-E-A-K, which is incorrect.

It seem like a small thing, but it will stand out to people who understand the difference, and they could be your perfect client or customer. Don’t give them the opportunity to decide to go elsewhere because they think you’re a bit careless.

How do I remember the difference between peak and peek?

‘But, Denise!’ I hear you shout. ‘We need a tip to help us remember that!’
Luckily, I’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s one I made earlier!

Think of the ‘A‘ in peak as a mountain.

The two ‘e‘s in peek are like eyes.

So when you want to give someone a quick look at a new product, or show them behind the scenes of your business, remember you’re giving them a peek with their eyes!

What does pique mean?

Peak, peek and pique are homophones, which means they are all pronounced the same way but have a different spellings and meanings.

Pique means to arouse interest or curiosity, or to feel irritated and resentful.

Which means that a sneak pique is not a thing.

And neither is peaking someones interest, or peeking their interest, or feeling peaked at something. You use pique in each of these examples:

  • You pique someone’s interest in your services.
  • If someone gives your service a bad review you might feel piqued.
  • And you might want to pique a potential customer’s interest in your new product by giving them a sneak peek.

See what I did there?

Related content

If you struggle with spelling, there are other posts in my Worry-free Writing series that can help you.

Over to you

What do you think? Has this helped you get a better picture of when to use peak, peek and pique?
 
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions you might have for other topics to include in my Worry-free Writing series.
 
If there’s a word you have trouble remembering how to spell correctly, or a grammar point you’re not clear on, or a punctuation mark you’re not sure about, drop me a line, or tweet me using the hashtag #WorryFreeWriting.
 
And to get my monthly newsletter about my latest blogs, podcast episodes or other resources, be sure to sign up for The Editor’s Note below.

One Response

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