SQUIDS 101: Commonly Confused Homophones

I often see these common homophones confused online and in printed matter, and I thought a quick and handy guide might be of use to readers. All definitions are taken or adapted from Dictionary.com; all examples, as will become clear very quickly, are my own.

complement: (n) something that completes or makes perfect; (v) to complete; form a complement to.
The squid's hot-pink tentacles were the perfect complement to her sterling-silver skin.
compliment: (n) an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration; (v) to pay a compliment to.
Squids are a highly sycophantic species; they can spend a flood of ink in compliments.

eminent: (adj) high in station, rank, or repute; prominent; distinguished; conspicuous, signal, or noteworthy; lofty; high; prominent; projecting; protruding
The Great Sand Squid of the Kalahari is the most eminent example of the rarely seen desert variety (suborder Oegopsina, family Psanditeuthidae).
imminent: (adj) likely to occur at any moment; impending
If you feel a squid attack is imminent, remember: Do not use nunchucks.

faze: (v) to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; daunt.
The squid was unfazed by my display of underwater kung fu.
phase: (n) a stage in a process of change or development; (v) to plan or carry out systematically by phases.
Common Phrases: phase in; phase out
Many young squids go through a Goth phase; only rarely is it cause for concern.

foreword: (n) a short introductory statement in a published work, as a book, esp. when written by someone other than the author
Dr. Mollusc wrote the foreword to Madam Calamari's classic study Squids and Sensibility.
forward: many definitions, most commonly (adj/adv) onward, (adj) ready, prompt, or eager, and (v) to advance.
The squid was very forward in his approaches, and I rebuked him for his uncouth manners.

mantel: (n) An ornamental facing around or a protruding shelf over a fireplace
Where most humans would mount their prizes over the mantel, squids apparently preferred to employ them as lawn ornaments.
mantle: (n) something that covers, envelops, or conceals; a loose, sleeveless cloak or cape; a single or paired outgrowth of the body wall that lines the inner surface of the valves of the shell in mollusks and brachiopods; (v) to cover with or as if with a mantle; to flush, blush
The squid's mantle mantled chartreuse in recognition of the compliment.

peak: (n) the pointed top of anything; the highest or most important point or level; (v) to attain a peak; to become weak, thin, and sickly
Stan Stanford and the Squids' latest record, "The Cephalopod Shuffle," peaked at number 127 on the charts.
peek: (n) a quick or furtive look or glance; (v) to look or glance quickly or furtively, esp. through a small opening or from a concealed location.
Common Phrases: take a peek, sneak peek (NOT "sneak peak")
Two squids in love peek / At a sweet tentacle's touch; / Six hearts beat as one.
peke: (n abbrev, short for "Pekingese"): A small yappy dog of Chinese origin.
The squid considered today's specials: peke, bichon, pug, or chihuahua?
pique: (n) a feeling of irritation or resentment, as from a wound to pride or self-esteem. (v) to wound, to excite, to arouse an emotion or provoke to action.
Common Phrases: a fit of pique; to pique one's interest (NOT "to peak one's interest")
My poking piqued the peke on the peak to peek at the hungry squid below.

pore over: (v) to read, study, gaze at, ponder, or meditate upon something with steady attention or application
Squids and Sensibility is widely regarded as the Moby-Dick of the mollusc world, and I pored over it for hours.
pour over: (v) to issue, move, or proceed in great quantity or number: to flow forward or stream
The squids poured over the coral reef in a Teutonic display of Teuthida power.

principal: (n) One who holds a position of presiding rank, especially the head of an elementary school or high school; a main participant in a situation; the main body of an estate or financial holding as distinguished from the interest or revenue from it. (adj) First, highest, or foremost in importance, rank, worth, or degree.
My principal objections to the plan were 1) the height, 2) the giant squid, and 3) Barry Manilow.
principle: (n) a rule or standard; an essential quality
The first principle of Squid School is -- you do not talk about Squid School.

stationary: (adj) not moving; having a fixed position
The fire squid remained stationary -- but for how long?
stationery: (n) writing paper and materials
As I picked up the stationery, my heart beat like a rare Euprymna scolopes, for there, in the corner, gleamed a tiny silver squid.