Words You’re Probably Using Incorrectly

Ever have one of those moments where someone points out a word you’ve misused and you cringe, because you realize you’ve gotten it wrong your whole life? You might have one of those days after reading this post. But worry not. You never have to make this mistake again. Read on.

1. Pique vs. peak

A peak is the pointy top of something, like the jagged peak of a mountaintop. To pique someone’s interest means to arouse, stimulate or excite. Examples of how to use these words correctly:

We shared a few event details to pique their interest.

The freshly picked fruit was at  peak ripeness.

2. Home vs. hone

If you’re homing in on something, you’re directing onto a point or target. If you’re trying to improve a skill, you hone it.

Everyday mistake3. Every day vs. everyday

I have a growing collection of examples of “everyday” being misused. It’s in the form of a photo album on the Lorrie Walker Public Relations Facebook page. Feel free to check it out. I also welcome photos of “everyday” mistakes you find out in the wild.

Incorrect: Read to your children everyday.
Correct: Read to your children every day.

Incorrect: It has become an every day ritual to go to the coffee shop.
Correct: It has become an everyday ritual to go to the coffee shop.

Please, for the love of everything holy, learn the difference. “Everyday” is an adjective. “Every day” is an adverb.

4. Poured vs. pored

The definition of pore is to examine closely. The definition of pour is to transfer a substance from a container.

Incorrect: We poured over the information to make sure we didn’t overlook any details.
Correct: We pored over the information to make sure we didn’t overlook any details.

5. Motherload vs. mother lode

Mother lode is the standard spelling of the phrase that means an abundant or rich source. The phrase actually refers to the mining term “lode,” which means a “vein” of ore.”

Spare yourself the embarrassment of writing something like this: We hit the motherload of Beatles albums at the vintage record store. Instead, it’s this:
We hit the mother lode of Beatles albums at the vintage record store.

Knowing how to use these words properly will make you look good. We promise.