Pique (verb): to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.): Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
Peak (verb): to attain a peak of activity, development, popularity, etc.: The artist peaked in the 1950s.
Peek (verb): to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.
|This is a peak. Not a pique. (It's also|
the home of Stargate Command.)
I imagine that English will evolve so that "peak" comes to replace "pique". ("Peek" seems to be left out of these mixups. Thank goodness.) Until then, the words are not interchangeable. If something captures your interest or curiosity, then you've been piqued. If you've reached the full extent of your curiosity and it's fading away, you've peaked.
Unfortunately, I have no good way to remember the difference between these words. But I do think we should all learn them so that careful readers aren't pointing and laughing when we confuse them. Proofreading is your friend!
Did you know there was a difference between "peak" and "pique"? Is it now going to drive you crazy when you see it on the internet?